Friday, 19 December 2014

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

Good morning everyone, 2014 is quickly coming to an end and that means holidays, shopping, parties, vacations....Well, no vacation for me as the boss froze our leaves for these 2 months ;( but lotsa shopping (even the husband noticed that I've been shopping too much this month, haha) and an upcoming Xmas party, say YES!

How are you ladies spending the holidays? I'm sure there'll be lots of cooking and baking involved ;).

Yesterday I baked this sinfully fudgy brownies with swirls of Nutella Cheesecake in it..hmmm, it was even better than how I expected it to be. It was for a friend of mine and still we got to taste it. So here goes, Nutella Cheesecake Brownies which is super moist and chocolatey to the max. Enjoy!!!


You need :

An 8 inch square pan, greased and lined with baking paper.

Brownie batter :

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup plain flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
5 tbsp. Nutella

Cheesecake batter:

8 oz Philadelphia cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/3 cup Nutella

Method :

Heat oven to 170C.

Brownie batter:

Beat butter and brown sugar, add eggs and beat well. Add in cocoa powder, flour, mix. Lastly add Nutella and mix till combined. I just mixed it all using a bowl and spatula.

Cheesecake batter :

Beat room temperature cheese with an electric mixer. Add in sugar, mix well. Add eggs one at a time, beat. Lastly add in Nutella and ensure that all in combined well.

Now pour brownie batter into prepared pan. Then scoop out cheesecake batter onto the brownie batter till it forms a top layer. You may leave it as that or do swirls using a butter knife.

Bake in preheated oven at 170C for 45-50 minutes till a skewer inserted in the middle comes with crumbs (not too dry).

Cool on a wiring rack. let it sit in the pan about an hour.

I'm linking this to my on going event
Bake Along Challenge # 6

Cooks Joy , Bake Fest

What's with my cuppa

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bake Along Challenge # 6 : Chocolate

Hi everyone...I'm back with my event after a looonngggg absence. Yup, life has been super busy with the arrival of the princess, a new job, an upcoming new house, a home baking business and a long distance marriage with the husband pursuing his Masters..Phewww. In the midst of all this, I've missed cooking and baking for pleasure. So, here goes.. Bake Along Challenge #6..I hope it will inspire me and you to try out a new recipe as it's the holiday season after all!

And the Theme is : Chocolate

Yes, let's start off with this favourite ingredient of mine.

 So, do join in and make some yummy treats ;)

The simple rules are :
1. Follow my blog
2. Bake anything using Chocolate, it can be cocoa, white, milk or dark chocolate..your choice.
3.Add your post to the linky tool provided and also post a link of this event in your post.
4. Usage of logo is mandatory.
5. Any number of entries are allowed.
6. Event runs from 17/12/14 till 30/1/15.

I will post a round up of the event in the month of Feb.

Happy Baking ;)

Anniversary Dinner at Tamarind Hill Kuala Lumpur

It was our 4 years Anniversary on the 12/12 and I decided to make a reservation at this restaurant in KL which I've been waiting to try out for quite some time. The reviews on this place has always been good and consistent. So when I called up the place and was told that they might close up the restaurant for a big party booking, I was truly disappointed ;(. I was told that my reservation will be put on hold till they get a confirmation from the other party,,,hmmm.

Well, when they called back on the 9/12 and told me that my reservation has been confirmed, I was over the moon...haha. I even requested for a corner table in the outdoor setting as it was our anniversary.

On the day itself, I surprised the husband with a cake I made specially for the occasion. Here's a couple of pics of the cake :

It was a Buttermilk Cake with Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting and Fresh Berries.
I was hunting for some edible flowers bt there was no stock in all the usual places so had to put up with just the berries. I was a little sad that my whole idea of the cake did not materialize due to the flowers but the cake itself was truly enjoyed by all and had the perfect crumb and texture. happy ;).

Now, back to the dinner....It ended up being a rainy evening (been raining on and off here in Malaysia) and the rain stopped just before we reached the restaurant. Thank God for that as the restaurant itself is atop a little hill and the pathway of stairs are lit with beautiful lanterns and we still managed to enjoy our walk up.

We were then greeted by a friendly waiter and quickly led us to our reserved table...yes, at a corner. The lighting and ambience gave out the romantic feel. We started off with a cocktail for me and a whiskey for the husband. Upon the waiter's recommendation I chose the Apple Cinnamon cocktail and my, it was truly a great start. I loved it so much!

Apple Cinnamon Cocktail

Next came our platter of starters and every bit was flavourful with different textures, me and the husband gave it two thumbs up.

Now to our main course, we had Jasmine fragrant rice with my all time fav Green Curry Chicken, Steamed Ginger Fish and broccoli in oyster sauce.

Main course

The fish came deboned and so flavourful. The green curry wasn't the best (guess I've tried too many to say so) and the vege was just nice. Overall a lovely meal that we were so full at the end of it.

But there has to be dessert, right. It's a celebratory dinner after all. This time we decided to go for liquid dessert..yes, dessert in the form of cocktails ;). I chose the Black Forest and the husband went with the Chocolate Volcano.

Black Forest

Chocolate Volcano was boozy treat indeed ;). Mine had a strong Baileys taste and the husband's was more of a chocolatey one.

And so our lovely romantic dinner came to an end with both of us feeling refreshed and me a little giddy from the cocktail ;)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Dry Spicy Prawns

I won this Modern Indian Cookbook in a recent contest and was excited to try out the wonderful recipes in it. The book is filled with yummy looking pics of glorious food that made me so happy to win it. Here's a pic of the book cover ;)

And here's the simple Spicy Prawns that was enjoyed by the husband..

Ingredients :

500 gms prawns
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 inches ginger, peeled
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt for seasoning
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 stalk curry leaves (didn't have it when I made this)
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Method :

Clean, peel, de-vein the prawns. Blend together onion, garlic and ginger with a bit of water.
Heat a skillet and add the prawns, the blended ingredients, chillii powder and turmeric powder.
Season with salt. Mix well. Add water and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and cook with lid on about 5 mins. Take lid off and cook till the liquid evaporates. Then, add the oil and curry leaves, stir. Continue to cook till sauce thickens and coats prawns. Turn off heat.
Drizzle lemon juice over prawns and serve hot.

Vegetarians can replace prawns with diced peeled potatoes.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Easy Cabbage Kootu

A recipe after some time...this is an easy, quick to do recipe which tastes good, too.
Something you can make for dinner after work or on a busy the thumbs-up from the husband.

All you need :

1/2 cup mysore dhall / dhall of choice, soaked for about an hour
2 cups sliced cabbage
1 large onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
2 cloves garlic
curry leaves
2 dried chillies
1 tsp mix spices / talipu
2 tsp sambar powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder / to taste
salt to taste
water - to boil dhall
water - for kootu

In a small pot boil water and cook dhall with garlic cloves and some salt till dhall is soft.

In another pot, heat some oil and sauté onion and curry leaves. Add cabbage, tomato, sambar powder, chilli powder, mix well. Add water just enough to cover ingredients and bring to a boil. Add salt. Once cabbage is cooked and gravy thickens, add cooked dhall with the garlic.
Meanwhile,  in a small wok, heat some oil, fry the dry chillies and mix spices. Add this to the kootu mixture, stir well to combine and turn off heat.
Easy cabbage kootu is ready. Can be served with rice / roti/ chappatis.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Visiting Bali With A Kid 2014 - Day 1

This is my 2nd visit to Bali and my husband's 1st. We have been planning this visit for quite some time now but planning a vacation with our 1 year old in tow is no easy task.

Finally we got some days off, things sorted out and was on our way for a family vacation after nearly a year. I booked the tickets and hotel thru Air Asia Go. It took weeks to decide on the right hotel, something not so expensive (as we'll be spending most of our time outdoors) yet it has to be comfortable enough for our kid, walking distance to shops, pharmacy, quiet with lovely grounds.

In the end we settled on Kuta Paradiso Hotel. You can read on reviews here .

Day 1.

Our flight was at 9.20 am and we had to leave home abt 6 am in order to be on time. This was my first flight from the new KLIA 2 and it was quite a walk from the check-in counters to the departure gate. It took us abt 30 mins (brisk walking and the kid on her stroller). I would suggest to those travelling through KLIA 2 to give yourselves enough time so as not to rush in.
We were glad to book the hot seats and was the first to be ushered in.

It was an uneventful flight though the little one was awake for the whole 3 hrs of the journey but couldn't keep her eyes open once we were at Bali Immigration. We were happy to be greeted at the airport by our friendly driver frm the hotel. It started to feel like a great start when you have someone carrying your bags and driving you around and all you had to do was sit back and enjoy sight seeing.

The hotel was near the airport and check-in was fast. The facilities were as stated in their site. Room spacious. TV channels very satisfactory and the little one had her fav Disney Junior. The hotel was very clean, toiletries, towels, water and such available upon check-in. I personally loved the pillows. Only thing was a need of furniture refurbishment in the room but overall a good hotel with lovely grounds.

Kuta Paradiso grounds

We spent the first day relaxing, taking a walk around kuta town, checking out the shops and had dinner at one of the smaller shops (warung) along Kuta Beach.

Chicken Satay

Indonesian Nasi Goreng

Indonesian Mee Goreng

The night was buzzing at Kuta with tourists and locals everywhere, restaurants were crowded and the weather pleasant. Though the day was hot, the night was cool with a lovely wind and truly pleasant to walk about.

We had an early night in being tired from the trip and as we have to wake early the next day for our day tour around Bali.

Thanks for reading Stay tuned for Day 2 at Bali ;)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Thai Fine Dining in KL - Rama V

Dear friends,
Things have kept me occupied but I find that I've been using that excuse way too often lately and promises made to self to keep the blogging going just not kept.
So, rather than waiting to cook up a new yummy dish which I rarely do nowadays, I decided to blog on the random things in life...and this time I'll write about my fav Thai fine dining restaurant in the heart of Kuala Lumpur...a romantic yet reasonably priced place (compared to all the other Italian/ French fine dining around). A favourite of mine due to the ambience, accessibility and of course the delicious food which has never let me down.

So, here goes.... Rama V Thai Fine Dining

We had a full course meal..from starters to dessert and I would say we thoroughly enjoyed it.

What we chose : Starters: Crispy Fried Scallops served with sweet n spicy chili sauce
                            Salad   : Banana Blossom salad with minced chicken...yummms...our favourite of
                                          the day
                             Main : Fragrant rice with Green Curry Chicken and Stir Fried Okra in Belacan
                                         (couldn't resist the Green Curry whenever I go for Thai food)
                            Dessert : Mango sticky rice (for the husband) and Chendol for me...yumms
                            Drinks : Pomegranate Lychee Mojito for me and watermelon juice for the husband

Overall a delicious meal in a romantic setting. We got a seat overlooking the garden and it was indeed pleasant. There was a party going on at one of the private dining rooms but it was blocked by glass doors so no disturbance at all.
I'm looking forward to dine at one of those private rooms one of the days... ;)
The price we paid was worth the meal and will not hesitate to visit again..maybe next year ya.

More pics :

And special thanks to the husband for the pretty dress and awesome early treat for my 32nd birthday.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Father's Day Thai Fiesta

It's been ages since my last post...with the change of job, the temporary move back to my hometown after nearly 12 years...orient myself geographically and dealing with the little one's needs has been the main agenda this past few months. Now that we have sort of got the hang of it all, and things are starting to roll much smoothly, I've started a part time baking business with my sister and we call it Cake O'licious.
You can check out the FB Page ;).

We have slowly picked up the pace and I'm happy to say that it's running pretty smoothly too.... ;). This gives me the pleasure to bake and try out all kinda new stuff that I've been saving at the back of my mind all this years and definitely solves the issue of who will be eating all those sinful baked goodies....and gives me more reason to do therapeutic baking...yes you heard me right, baking is therapeutic to me...haha....

Now, enough of my musings....

The past weekend being Father's Day, I managed to cook up a feast for the dearest husband....and it was Thai food..being a fan of Thai food, I wanted to try out things from the scratch....I would say a simple version of it but it did take me a couple of hours to get it all on the table...and as usual the husband loved it all...and me too ;) here goes.....

Mixed Vegetables in Red Curry

Thai Fragrant Prawns

Thai Style Steamed Fish

Delicious and Refreshing Fruit Soup

And my, we both enjoyed the food including the little one but she could only try out the steam fish...

Here are the links to the recipes and do give it a try ;)

Fragrant Thai Prawns

Thai Style Steamed Fish

Vegetables in Red Curry

Will post the fruit soup recipe in a different post soon...happy cooking ;)

Saturday, 22 March 2014

My Little Angel Turns One !

Before I realized, my little one has reached the one year only felt like yesterday, when we went on shopping sprees for the newborn, dedicating day and night to be at her side....
It has been a super busy year with the husband going off to do his Masters and end up being a weekend father, me resigning my 5 year job that I loved and taking up an offer nearer to my parents with better working hours so I won;t be tired when I come home to an eager little one......
So, it definitely called for a celebration. People say 1 year olds won't appreciate birthday parties..well, to me it's a party to celebrate her reaching the 1 year mark and being a wonderful kid and mainly for both of us to have done an excellent job holding on during the ups and downs of this 1 year....
My daughter is a princess in the me, she does behave like, I chose the little, cute Princess Sofia as the theme party....with early planning, I managed to pull off the simple yet lovely party. Here are some of the shots....

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Chicken n Mushroom Shepherds Pie

I made this yummilicious shepherds pie for dinner last week and the husband truly loved it ;)
There was nothing left at the end of dinner when I actually thought I've made loads and will have leftovers...haha...

You need :

300-350 gm boneless, skinless chicken meat, diced small
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 can of button mushrooms, sliced thinly
some olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp paprika (or more)
1 tbsp flour
1 cup water

5-6 medium size potatoes, boiled, mashed well without lumps
1 tbsp butter
salt and ground pepper to taste

mix together the mashed potatoes with butter, salt and pepper. It has to be smooth. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Saute onion till soft, add in carrot. Let carrot cook a bit. Then and add in chicken meat and mushroom. Cook a little and add in the flour. Mix well and pour in the water. Let it cook well. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and paprika. The gravy should be thick, you can add more water while cooking if needed. Turn off fire. Now transfer it to a heavy oven proof casserole, spread it evenly.

Top it with the mashed potatoes, spread evenly, covering well. You can make simple design on the surface with a fork. Then drizzle some olive oil on the surface.

Heat oven 180 C. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Serve with some salad.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Fried Radish Cake

This is my second favourite hawker food in Malaysia....available for breakfast and dinner..I still remember the Chinese uncle with a big wok frying this deliciously smelling dish at the entrance of the morning market near my parents; house.....the only thing about this dish is that I find it a little too oily for my taste and so I decided to actually try making this at home and it resulted in my kitchen smelling gloriously delicious ;) and it tasted just like the one that you can get at the hawker stalls (maybe a little better , hehe) here goes, my fried radish cake :




Serves 3-4 persons.

1.Making radish cake :

1 medium sized white radish - grated thinly
200 gm rice flour
200 ml water
water for steaming
a bit of salt

Place grated radish in a heatpoof plate. Heat water in a pot and steam the radish till it turns translucent. You can also use a steamer. (whatever method convenient for you).

Remove  and let it cool. Add radish into a metal cake pan. In another bowl, mix together rice flour and 200 ml water. Add the solution to the steamed radish. Mix well.

Steam again on high for about 30 - 40 mins. It will be a bit firm to touch. Remove pan from heat. Let it cool and then place in the refrigerator for 7-8 hrs or overnight so it firms up.

2. Frying the radish cake:

1/2 tbsp. non spicy chilli paste (chilli boh)
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 cloves garlic , minced
a small bowl of beansprouts, rinsed
2 tsp fish sauce
dark soy sauce, accordingly
salt and white pepper to taste
spring onion, chopped
canola oil for frying

prawns (optional)

Remove radish cake from refrigerator about 10-15 mins prior to frying. Cut it into small pieces.
heat some oil in a non-stick pan. Stir-Fry the radish cake pieces till slightly browned. Add in the garlic and chilli paste. Add some salt. Fry till aromatic.
Add in the beansprouts, stir.
Add fish sauce, soy sauce and pepper, mix well. Now, pour in the beaten eggs, all around the radish cake. Let it set a bit and then flip over from side to side till it is all well mixed. Add more pepper and salt if needed.
Serve hot with spring onions...;)

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Tandoori Chicken Pizza with Cilantro Yogurt Dressing

A flavourful indian style pizza.......deliciously mouthwatering...and the yogurt dressing compliments the pizza so well....

Pizza base :

Use ur best pizza base recipe
Use a frozen ready pizza base (follow packet instructions)
Try out this pizza base recipe :

Smitten Kitchen

If ur making ur own dough, follow the recipe above, roll out onto your pan, bake for about 5 minutes till slightly cooked at 200C. Then remove from oven, assemble the pizza and bake again.

I bought freshly cooked tandoori chicken from the restaurant nearby (I love their tandoori chicken..succulent) for this pizza (less time consuming)....but you can always make your is a recipe for it :


To assemble the pizza :

tandoori chicken pieces
1/2 yellow bell pepper , sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
a handful of low fat pizza cheese
 Leggo's tomato and mushroom pasta sauce / any pasta sauce of your choice

Spread a layer of sauce over your dough evenly. Sprinkle low fat pizza cheese..Then add sliced tandoori chicken pieces, yellow bell pepper, onion slices and red chilli slices. Sprinkle some salt and enough dried oregano....Bake at 200C for 10-15 mins or till pizza is cooked.

Serve with cilantro yogurt dressing :

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1/4 tbsp. minced ginger
juice of 1 small kalamansi lime
1/3 cup low fat greek yogurt

Blend all together...a delicious dressing...suitable for biryani as well...

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Moist Banana Bread

The texture of this loaf is between a bread and a cake....moist, crumbly, prefect for breakfast or tea...



You need :

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup fine sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 medium bananas (ripe), mashed

Preheat oven 180C and prepare a loaf pan (grease and dust with some flour).
In a mixing bowl, stir together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, vanilla and mix well. In another bowl combine flour, soda and salt.
Add flour mixture to butter and mix till smooth. Fold in sour cream, mashed bananas and walnuts. Mix well.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake for about 50 min - an hour. Toothpick inserted should come out clean. Cool in pan for about 15 mins. Then remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Best served warm.