Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When Life Gives You Chocolates......Celebrate!

Good morrow. Wish that life can always be as sweet as chcocolates? Why not! Everyone is entitled to hope and dream. In fact, hopes and dreams actually get us going on . Believing that eventually things will get better, helps us in surviving through this unpredictable life.

It is well-known that sweet things always bring comfort(coming from a kitchen-addict's point-of-view), especially during teary times. For that, I want to share this sweet, rich chocolate pudding recipe (from with you, with hopes that life would be sweeter and those saddened days be put to a definite end.

Do you like what you see in the photo?


Then, why don't you try making these. All you need are:

1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of powdered milk
1 cup of sugar
4 tbsps of cornflour
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
10g of jelly powder
4 and 1/4 cups of water
1/2 tsp of salt
3 tbsps of butter
  • Put all ingredients except butter in a non-stick pot. Over a low heat, whisk the mixture till it is well-mixed.
  • When it starts to boil put in the butter and continue whisking until it thickens.
  • Pour into mould and let to cool.
  • Put into the refrigerator till set.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's 'Makan-makan' Time!

It's me again. Those who visit my blog know that I am a teacher (who spends more time cooking than marking books). When I attempted new recipes, my colleagues at school would be my official food testers and I really appreciate their willingness to taste the dishes I've prepared.

Besides that, like me, my colleagues in school happen to be food lovers and we'll try to have as many 'makan-makan' sessions as possible during that 20-minute students' recess time. Pot luck is the most favoured option when it comes to this 'ritual'. Of course, being teachers, the non-Muslims would bring bought, halal-certified dishes while the Muslims, would happily bring something home-cooked. Here are some photos I managed to snap(being the ever nosy me!) during our 'makan-makan' time on Friday.

Yummylicious 'Laksa Kedah' specially prepared by .......

Pn Rosniza
(Notice how jolly Puan Tan GS was in the background? Food DOES make people happy)

'MEE GORENG BODO'-according to Cik Ahni who prepared it but sincerely, the taste is very far from 'bodo'

Below are more photos of my official food testers!
Two Gentlemen of Verona? Just kidding! En Azwie and En Aziz
(Did I tell you that we love food? Can you see that bottle of choc chip cookies?)

Teachers are forever young at heart. Don't believe me? Notice those "Peace' signs?

Madame Shama- Le Food Critique

Cik Ahni-slurping the laksa gravy
(Told you the laksa was good. See Cik Ahni's expression?)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

With a Moo, Moo here and a Moo, Moo there...

Hiya peeps! What's up? This week has been very hectic for me for there was also school on Saturday! So much of being dedicated huh? Anyway, in this entry, I would like to post something which is very much related to the title.

I believe that everyone is very familiar with the Moos. I like to describe them as very interesting, especially those from the Freesian bred. With that black and white patterns on the skin, they appear very cute-looking to me. Call me a Moo-freak but they are just cute. End of discussion. However, Mr KHz tends to view the Moos differently. Just by looking at them, he can give you a long list of dishes possibly done using parts of the Moos family. To him, the Moos are superbly delicious! Hence this entry on a dish that I have prepared for his supper last night and he gave it 8/10 rating. What? You like the Moos as steak too? I don't blame you. They actually taste superb( and this entry has actually made me craving for my Mak's 'Rendang Pulau Besar').

To share Mr KHz's passion on dishes involving parts of the Moo family, here's the recipe, originally taken from Kimball Recipe Booklet-Vol.1., if you wish to try.

1.2 kg ox tail (blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes and drained)
200g tomato puree
1 can of whole tomatoes (chopped)
2 onions (finely chopped)
4 pips of garlic (finely chopped)
2 carrots (sliced into rings)
3 potatoes (cut into wedges)
2 pieces of dried bay leaves
1.5 litre water
2 beef stock cubes
2 tbsps of cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste

  • Heat the oil and saute the onion pieces till fragrant. Put in water and bring to a boil.
  • Add in the ox tail pieces and bring to a boil again. Add in bay leaves, lower the heat and put on the lid. Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Then, add in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, carrots, potatoes and beef stock cubes. Put the lid and continue too cook until the oxtail is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with slices of french loaf.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Healthy Eating? Cikyah? What?

Good morrow peeps! Do you like(or rather surprised by) the title? Anyway, what do people really mean with healthy eating? Well, I do take the skin off the chicken before cooking. I have ommitted coconut milk in my curry and use chopped tomatoes to thicken the gravy. I try not to put any MSG in cooking and I always insist on fresh ingredients. Am I on the right track to healthy eating? Tell me....

Well, as an attempt to start eating healthily, I prepared this recipe for my lunch yesterday. I have ammended Amy Beh's Healthy Pasta Salad
recipe and surprisingly, my colleagues at school enjoyed it. What about me? I enjoyed it too!

Here's the recipe if you plan to have something simple yet filling for your lunch and it serves four.


You need:
400g of tricolour fussili (spiral pasta)
3 pieces of Ayamas chicken
ham (or you can put steamed chicken breast cut into small pieces)
1 medium size red capsicum
1 medium size
yellow capsicum

For the dressing:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon
1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt
freshly cracked black peppercorns

  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet (till al dente) and drain.
  • Meanwhile, put the capsicums on your stove top and cook till black and charred. Next, put into a bowl and cover with a cling film. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • Then, slice the chicken ham into small, thin slices and put into a mixing bowl.
  • After that, peel the skin of the capsicums and deseed. Slice into thin strips and put into the mixing bowl. Then, put in your pasta.
  • For the dressing, put everything in a glass jar. Put the lid on and shake till well-mixed. Pour into the mixing bowl and toss well.
  • Serve.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

When Cikyah Goes Fusion

Yesterday evening, I went down to the kitchen and realised that I had to whip up another dish for the ones prepared earlier had been gobbled up for lunch. How fortunate I was to notice a bowl of cold rice on the kitchen counter. Well, since Mr KHz had mentioned his craving for fried rice, I finally came up with this idea. Since I have to finish my button mushrooms, let's go fusion and here is the end product:

By the way, do they match? What do you think? Anyway, if you're feeling under the weather, just whip up this simple fried rice recipe(owned by as I'm very confident that it can definitely beat the blues.

You need:
3 cups of cooled, cooked rice
3cm piece of salted fish( I used salted mackerel )
1 onion(halved and thinly diced)
3 pips of garlic(bashed)
5 bird's eye chillies (bashed)
2 long beans (cut into small pieces)
1/2 a carrot (diced)
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tbsp of fish sauce ('nampla')
2 tbsp of cooking oil
salt (if necessary)

  • Heat the oil in a wok. Then, put the salted fish. Using the back of your spatula, mash the salted fish and fry till fragrant and slightly crispy.
  • Next, put in the onion, garlic and chillies and stir well. Put in the vegetables, oyster sauce and fish sauce and keep on stirring.
  • Put in your rice and mix well. Have a taste in case you need to add more salt.
  • Serve hot.

Apa Tengok-tengok? Nak Gaduh Ke?

Ooooooppppp! Nanti! Nanti! Jangan gaduh-gaduh. Makan gado-gado tak apa. Resepi ni cikyah dapat dari KualiOnline. Bahan-bahannya dan resepi kuah kacangnya pun cikyah dah ubah sedikit. Berselera ke tengok gambar kat bawah ni? Apa? Nampak sedap? Cuba la......


  • 5 batang kacang panjang (dipotong-potong sepanjang 2 inci dan dicelur sebentar)
  • 1 batang timun ( buang empulurnya dan dipotong-potong sepanjang 2 inci)
  • 3 keping tempe (potong nipis dan digoreng garing)
  • 3 keping tauhu ( potong dua setiap satu, digoreng garing dan dihiris-hiris 1/4 inci tebal)

    Untuk kuah kacang:
  • 1 cawan kacang tanah ( digoreng tanpa minyak, buang kulit dan ditumbuk halus)
  • 8 batang cili kering(dipotong2,buang biji dan direndam dengan air panas dan ditoskan)
  • 2 batang cili merah
  • 5 ulas bawang merah (dihiris nipis)
  • 2 sudu besar gula
  • 2 sudu besar kicap manis
  • 1 sudu besar asam jawa (diramas dengan 1 cawan air dan ditapis)
  • 2 sudu besar minyak masak
  • garam

  • Susun sayur-sayuran, tempe dan tahu di dalam sebuah pinggan hidang.
  • Dalam kuali, panaskan minyak dan goreng cili kering, cili merah dan bawang merah hingga garing.
  • Kemudian, masukkan ke dalam lesung batu dan ditumbuk hingga lumat dan masukkan semula ke dalam kuali bekas menggoreng tadi.
  • Masukkan kacang tumbuk dan bahan-bahan lain.
  • Masak menggunakan api sederhana hingga mendidih dan masukkan garam secukup rasa.
  • Bila pekat, padamkan api dan hidang bersama sayur-sayuran, tempe dan tahu tadi.
  • Untuk merasa gado-gado, gaulkan kuah dengan bahan-bahan tadi dan biarkan mereka 'bergaduh'.
  • Nah......sekarang boleh makan.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets....'Larder-Ransacking'!

On Thursday morning, I cannot really figure out what to cook for lunch. On weekdays, only the kids have lunch at home so usually, I just have to figure out what's for dinner. At certain times, I really cannot think of what kind of dish to prepare. It feels as if I have cooked everything. If there's 'a writer's block', I wonder, "Is there is 'a cook's block' too?" When I am in this condition, I will go 'larder-ransacking' and here is another dish that I would recommend if ever you are having 'a cook's block'.


To save you from a hard time figuring out what to prepare, you just need:
  • 250g spaghetti (ccoked according to instructions on the package and drained but save 1 and 1/ cans of the water used for boiling)
  • 1 can of Prego Cheese and Herbs sauce
  • 150g chicken fillet (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 medium size yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 pips of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 can of button mushroom (sliced)
  • a handful of parsley (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cans of water used to boil the spaghetti ( I used the sauce can to measure)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil and put in the chopped onion and stir till translucent but do not brown the onion pieces.
  • Next, put in the chicken pieces and stir till cooked.
  • Then, put in the sauce. Stir and put in the water. Keep on stirring till the sauce is bubbling.
  • When the sauce thickens, put in your spaghetti.
  • Put the chopped parsley and add salt and white pepper to taste.
  • Stir till the spaghetti is well-coated and pile onto a warm serving platter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • Bon apetit!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Successful Request

Good morrow! In this entry, I would include the recipe for my Potato Bread, together with the recipe for the custard topping that I manage to bake as Atush requested for one yesterday afternoon. This bread is very easy to make and it tastes very fluffy. Feeling annoyed? Go for bread making and knead the anger away!

I've included the recipe for the bread dough in my previous entry but I shall put it again.

Ingredients :

For the dough
300g high protein flour
50g caster sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tbsp powdered milk
2 tsp instant yeast
1 Grade C egg
135ml cold water
60 g mashed potato
30g butter

For the custard topping
1 tbsp of plain flour
1 tb custard flour/cornflour
4 tbsp of caster sugar
1 Grade C egg
1 cup of fresh milk (I used low-fat, as usual)
30g butter

  • Mix the flour, sugar, salt, powdered milk and yeast and mix well.
  • Then, put in the egg and cold water and mix until the mixture forms a dough.
  • Put in the mashed potato and butter and knead well until dough becomes soft and elastic.
  • Cover dough and let rise for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the custard topping. In a sauce pan, mix both plain flour and cornflour and sugar with 2 tbsp of milk. Stir well.
  • Next, put in the egg and keep stirring. Then, pour in the reamining milk and keep on stirring. Using a double-boiler method, bring the pot over another pot of boiling water and keep stirring till the mixture thickens. Once thickened, put in the butter and stir well and turn off the heat. Cover cour custard cream using a cling film to avoid 'skin' from forming on the top. Let to cool.
  • Next, punch the dough to let out the air. Leave covered for another 15 minutes.
  • Shape dough into small balls and arrange them in a greased baking tray. Leave to rise for another 45 minutes. Pipe the custrad cream across the dough.
  • Bake at 180C for 25 minutes. You may need to adjust the temperature depending on your oven.
  • Serve with a nice cup of tea.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Now That I've Remembered......

Hi all! After browsing my photos in one of the folders, I suddenly realised that I've promised this recipe to a friend for quite some time. Now that I've remembered, i should straight away put the recipe here. I do hope that she'll try and let me know the verdict. I tried the recipe originally done by The sauce recipe featured here is half the amount of the original recipe. Since I don't really favour salmon, I guess the sauce tasted good because Mr KHz left me an empty plate!

2 pieces of salmon steak
1 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt
a pinch of freshly grated black peppercorns

For the sauce:
1 tbsp butter
1/4 onion (chopped)
1/2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 cup of fresh milk( I used low-fat milk)
a pinch of salt
a pinch of freshly grated black peppercorns

  • Coat the fish with salt and pepper and fry in olive oil till brown. Transfer onto a serving platter.
  • For the sauce, heat the butter in a sauce pan and fry the onion till translucent.
  • Put in the flour and stir till all the onion pieces are coated with flour. Put in the other ingredients and keep on stirring till boils.
  • Turn off the heat and pour your sauce over your fish.
  • Enjoy!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Looking Back : If Only Nenek Was Here...

This entry is very long due. It should have been featured somewhere in March but the usual claim would be, "I don't even have time for myself!" Is life really that bad? What happen to my time? When these questions pop up, I would definitely take the easy way out. How? Looking through recipe books and surfing recipe sites, of course. Worse come to worse, I'll be in the kitchen, making bread and later, savour the therapeutic moments watching it rises and getting brown in the oven! Call me weird, freaky or whatsoever but this is how I calm myself.

I have never imagined that cooking can be the antibiotics during those chaotic times in my life. However, being brought up in a family who believes that food is the best tool to strengthen family ties, I can't agree more. Showing love through food has been long practised. Have you ever experienced the warmth when the dish you prepared is well-appreciated? That kind of fuzzy feeling when there's nothing left on the plate? I bet you have! That's why moms would go the extra length to prepare their children's favourite dishes when the long-awaited ones come home for the long school break. It's simply about showing love!

My late Nenek was a very good example to show how love is expressed through food. Due to her expertise, I have grown up to be a very picky person when it comes to choosing 'kuih genggang'(layered kuih), 'kuih kaswi', 'kuih koci' and 'pulut tetal'. So far, only my Mak is able to produce the kuih of such standard. Why? She was my late Nenek right-handed person in the kitchen! Nenek was also noted for her skills in preparing the 'lauk pengantin' for the 'orang sebelah' (the bride's or bridegroom's relatives -depending on which side you are organising the feast for). As my lame attempt to bring back those fond memories, here are the photos of the 'lauk pengantin' that we (me, Mak, Mak Teh and a few others) made for my cousin's wedding.

(Simply fried prawns skewered onto a pineapple using toothpicks. The fringy bits are made from carved and thinly sliced carrots, while the green bits are spring onions)

(Notice the vegetables used as decorations? It took me quite some time to carve those chillies and that pineapple piece!)

Don't you think that it is about time for us to celebrate what is still left for us before it's taken away? Celebrate life with love and the easiest is through food. Believe me!

Another Kampung Dish

I used to be puzzled why Mak had refused to take certain kinds of food. To me, her 'ikan pari masak asam pedas' and fried chicken are forever yummy while her seafood dishes are 'heaven on earth'. I wondered why she would choose a vege dish over a sinfully good helping of her delicious 'ikan pari' dish. She was not that old either. She was only in her thirties at that time. Finally, everything turns to be very clear for me. Being thirty-four, now I fully understand my mom's choice. Time has proven that your choice of food changes with age. Lately, I prefer vegetables and fish dishes compared to poultry, meats and seafood dishes. Could age be the factor?

In this entry, I am very glad to share my Mak's recipe using the ingredients found around the house. It is very common to find a papaya tree around a kampung house so the dish features raw papaya as the main ingredient.


* The word 'mengkal' actually means the papaya is raw and going to the ripe stage. Since I'm from Padang Jambu, Melaka, I'm used to refer to the fruit as 'kepaya', not betik or papaya.

To cut the long story short, all that you need are:

  • A medium size raw papaya
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 pips of garlic
  • 8 pieces of dried chillies(deseeded, blanched in hot water and finely ground)
  • a handful of dried anchovies('ikan bilis') (Mind you, I have big hands!)
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh turmeric root
  • 1 inch piece of shrimp paste (alah, belacanlah!)
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns (freshly ground)
  • 1 piece of turmeric leaf (shredded)
  • sufficient water
  • tamarind juice
  • salt and sugar to taste
To cook this dish you need to:

  1. Skin the papaya and cut into halves. Deseed and divide into portions. Wash and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Put into a medium size pot.
  2. Pound the shallots, garlic, turmeric root, shrimp paste and dried anchovies in a pestle and mortar. Since I find this dish to be rustic, I do not pound the ingredients till fine.
  3. Put in the pounded ingredients as well as the ground chillies into the pot containing the papaya slices. Pour in sufficient water till it barely covers the papaya slices.
  4. Simmer over medium heat till the papaya soften and pour in the tamarind juice.
  5. Add in salt, sugar, shredded turmeric leaf and black peppercorns. Let to boil for another 5-8 minutes.
  6. Serve with a plate of piping hot rice with a piece of salted fish at the side.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bila Teringat Emak di Kampung......

Salam. Semoga hari ini bermula dengan baik untuk sesiapa yang membaca blog ini (er..ada ke orang baca?). Saya baru saja pulang dari Trengganu-pergi bercuti dengan Mr KHz dan anak-anak di The Aryani. Kepada sesiapa yang perlukan rehat dan suasana yang tenang, saya mengesyorkan anda ke tempat ini. Walaupun harga biliknya agak tinggi, pulangannya memang berbaloi! Disebabkan suasana di tempat ini yang penuh nilai2 tradisional (dalam erti kata lain, gaya kampunglah!), saya tiba-tiba teringat Emak. Selalunya, bila saya teringat Emak, saya pasti teringin mahu makan masakan dia dan saya akan terus sahaja ke kedai mencari bahan-bahan untuk memenuhi tuntutan tekak saya! Kali ini, saya sertakan satu resepi yang kalau Emak masak, hanya saya dan dia sahaja akan makan. Adik-adik? Hmm...tak nak lah, sebab pahit! Tidak mengapa, semuanya untuk saya dan Emak. Baru puas hati!

Mahu tahu apakah masakan itu? Inilah dia.........


1 biji peria saiz sederhana
3 ulas bawang merah
2 ulas bawang putih
2 biji cili merah
3 biji cili padi
segenggam ikan bilis (lagi banyak lagi sedap)
sebiji telur


  • Belah dua peria, buang empulurnya dan dihiris nipis. Gaul dengan 2 sudu kecil garam dan biarkan selama 10 minit. Kemudian, perahkan peria dan cuci bersih. Toskan.
  • Tumbuk halus bahan-bahan lain kecuali telur dan garam.
  • Panaskan sedikit minyak dan tumis bahan-bahan tumbuk hingga wangi dan garing.
  • Masukkan peria dan gaul rata. Masukkan garam secukup rasa.
  • Pecahkan telur dan kacau sehigga telur masak.
  • Hidang panas bersama sepinggan nasi putih. (kalau nak tambah nasi pun boleh.....)
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