Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Carrot Cake Muffins

So I was channel surfing and caught a small segment of a food show featuring Donna Hay and some very adorable kids. They were making a carrot cake. Totally inspired, I made some for this morning’s breakfast and to bring some over for teatime later at the parents.

Try as I might, I couldn’t find the exact recipe of hers which she featured on the show. Maybe because I’ve no idea what the title of the show was! But I did find her recipes for carrot cake and carrot cake muffin. And so I used it but added some things which she did on the show – like mixed spice and ground cinnamon!

The outcome was quite delicious. It’s moist, definitely moist, but also moorish? It’s thick. Ok by Asian standards perhaps this is huge! One piece of this muffin and I’m full! But it is delicious.

I also copied her maple syrup cream cheese frosting. In the show, she added ricotta but as you know ricotta is not easily available here and Super expensive so I added one tablespoon of clotted cream instead.

I even used Australian olive oil. It’s very simple to make. The only difficult part is grating those carrots. And the recipe called for 3! I used 2 and still it was too much. I used big fat Australian carrots here. Beautiful. We love the fresh produce from Australia (I’m getting some Australian eggs later! 🤭).
I followed her recipe strictly but it was way to thick. I knew it can’t be right so I added a splash of olive oil and a splash of whole milk to make it wetter.
I overfilled some of them. This batter calls for exactly 12 muffins.
Make sure you don’t frost all of them. Well, for us we don’t really like frosting so I only frosted three to try. The rest will be on the side for those who would like some frosting. Even my kids don’t like sweet things.
Sprinkled some Chia seeds on top. A delicious teatime treat!

For the recipe which I used as a base:

Recipe Carrot Cake

breakfast, Seafood, Sides, Snack

Smoked Mackerel Pâté

I’ve had two packets of smoked mackerel pâté for a few months now. They keep very well in the freezer but I never knew what to do with them. I think when I bought them I had some idea to make croquettes but never had enough inspiration to do anything with them.

Until today that is. Suddenly inspiration came as I was scouring YouTube and the Internet. I decided on making pâté because I had a beautiful loaf of sourdough gifted to me by my generous sister.

It’s so easy to make! I improvised after watching a few videos and tasting until I like what I tasted.

In a food processor, add 450g of smoked mackerel, 100g butter, 130 g Philly cream cheese, 1/4 finely diced purple onion (or one whole shallot), one heaped teaspoon of ground black pepper. Whiz till very very smooth and add half a lemon worth of juice. Don’t add salt! Well, unless you like it salty. I find the smoked mackerel salty enough. Best eaten super chilled and with very good toasted sourdough slices.

This is 500g I’d smoke mackerel. I took away one piece of that for decoration and for future use (thinking of scrambled eggs with smoked mackerel).
Whiz whiz whiz. Make sure it’s very smooth.
Asian Dishes, Poultry
Chicken in Spicy Coconut Cream

I posted this many many years ago as one of the first few posts. This is Malay comfort food cooking because it has all the elements that we love – spicy, tangy and creamy.

I made this again recently because I had just bought these small bird’s eyes chillies that are actually quite hard to find here. These smaller versions are found easily in Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia, but the only kinds of bird’s eye chillies that we can find in supermarkets are the longish Thai ones.

These small ones pack a punch but the best part is you can eat them whole without realising as you put a spoonful of rice, chicken and gravy. 😅

Start by blending an onion, three cloves of garlic, a handful of bird’s eyes chilli and fresh turmeric till fine or semi-fine. For last night’s version, I chose Super fine.
Fry in oil till fragrant. Throw in two smashed lemongrass. Add water, and chicken pieces. Let it simmer till chicken is cooked.
Once chicken is cooked add a packet of coconut cream (200g) and aromatic leaves like kaffir lime leaves and turmeric leaves. Add assam pieces (tamarind fruit). Season with salt. And that is it.

The flavour is super hot, tangy (from the tamarind) and creamy (from the coconut). Eat with hot rice and a side of stir fried greens and you’re set to go. 😃

Bread and Batter, Seafood, Snack

Fish Tacos

So after watching Trevor Noah on Netflix about tacos, I felt that today is the right time to make them. 1. I have just bought tortilla wraps 2. I have sour cream and mixed cheddar cheese 3. I have frozen white fish. I also have two pieces of sirloin steaks in case there wasn’t enough fish.

For the fish marinade, I just used lime juice, olive oil, smoked paprika powder, fresh garlic mince, coriander leaves and salt and black pepper. Pan fry till cooked.

For the sirloin, I used leftover spice mix form the kabsah rice recipe. And pan fry in the hot pan till done.

For the white sauce, I mixed a tub of sour cream with a tub of Greek yogurt, added a tablespoon of Japanese mayo and seasoned with salt.

For the toppings, shredded cabbage, bottled picked jalapeño slices, bottled salsa, shredded mixed cheddar, finely diced onions and coriander leaves.

Tacos is really delicious and I get why a lot of Americans love it. However, it is SUPER messy to eat and not something I’d eat in public. Or bring to work. 😅

Regardless, it’s a lovely change and for us, two pieces of tacos is enough. In the end, we all finished up the fish and the steak slices were eaten on its own as a snack.

Assembly counter. I forgot to add wedges of limes are essential. Squeeze over the tacos before eating!
It’s hard to make tacos stand upright!
All mine! Yummy yummy!
Will definitely try making fish tacos again!


Steak Platter

It has not stopped raining since morning. Here’s hoping to the death of the virus with all this rain!

And since it’s raining and everybody’s at home feeling quite gloomy, I thought I’d just treat the family with a simple steak platter. I went out to buy two pieces of dry aged sirloin. Came home and started to fry haloumi cheese in olive oil first, then the steaks. I had some Australian baby kumato and a small piece of smoked duck. And that’s it! A happy family chomping down on good meat and cheese with toast.

That’s all you need to make a good steak on the stove!
I love thyme!