Banana & Choc Bread

It’s the February bake event!

January has been crazy. After Christmas and New Year, a few friends were in town and I was just out having fun! After that was the Chinese New Year so I was home to celebrate it with my family.

Finally, I get down to this bake out of January madness!

This is easy to make, I did not have to use my stand mixer and that means less washing to do. Greeeat!

Had to make this before I go away for the weekend so could not wait for the bananas to ripen further. Although it was a nice loaf but the orange zest tasted stronger than the banana. *note to self*

Quick and easy, will definitely make this again. Thanks to Sweet & Simple Bakes

Warm love,


CNY 2009

What is Chinese New Year without food! It is all about getting together with family and feasting out on delicacies and delicious food. I am just glad my family stayed back at home to enjoy a relaxing and cheerful weekend. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder how many more years we can do this before it all fades away in depreciation of our own culture.

Mum dresses up our home in true CNY style, not forgetting the spread of cookies and tidbits. Our family abode is all geared up in red~

Reunion dinner was at Grandma’s. Home cooked is still the best! The hakka zha rou, pan fried pumpkin, lotus root & peanut soup… Sorry, no pictures – all in my belly before I can manage any snaps.

1st day of CNY is back to Grandma’s to collect red packets, followed by mahjong and card playing sessions~ This will repeat at each relative’s residence and visiting of close friends.

2nd day of CNY is the day of “Kai Nian”. To officially kickstart the year, we have dinner at Kong Inn. We started with Yu Sheng *I was too slow for the excited crowd hence the empty plate!*

Followed by “Pun Choi” aka “Big Bowl Feast”, which is assorted vegetables, seafood and meat arranged in layers drizzled with Chinese brown sauce enjoyed warm. Everyone digs into a pot and as havoc as it sounds, actually it is quite fun! I particularly love the roast pork, marinated yam and beancurd skin in this dish.

Before & after pouring brown sauce

Besides that, our banquet served cold platter with lobster, suckling pig, steamed pomfret and “Lap Mei Fan”, which is rice cooked fragrantly with Chinese sausages.

My CNY feasting had to be cut short. Unlike in Malaysia some lucky few have a week off, work starts after 3 days of rest for me so I’m back in town for work now!

Serious digressing follows… Some photos to share the festive joy.

The scene at Grandma's

Tiny oranges and Kiko the Chihuahua *I sooo want to dognap her for Chester*

Hope you had a great week too! Take care wherever you are and be blessed in the year of the Oxy Ox!

P.S. PenPen we miss you~~~~!!

Warm love,


Pooch Smooches

While my hair was getting a good salon blow dry, I was flipping through old magazines stashed in front of me and these two recipes popped out of a page. No pen and paper, I whipped out my phone, changed the settings to document imaging and there I have recipes to bake for my dog! *get yourself a cybershot phone, no less*

In case you are thinking how owners are treating their pampered dogs like humans nowadays, Chester IS my baby.

So it’s Chester’s 3rd birthday on 23rd Jan, how time flies~ coincidentally, I brought him home 21st March – 123, 321! This is something special for him for his doggy day.

Few things canines should avoid such as grapes, chocolates, onions, nuts, yeast dough etc. Therefore, recipes for dog treats are modified to their diet. I omitted charcoal because I had no time to hunt around for them but to freshen up musky dog breath, this cookie contains mint and parsley flakes
(not that Chester needs it. Hah!)

Chester loves it and he came back for more!

The batter is dry; cookies had to be hand pressed into shape then placed onto the baking tray. Had no more eggs to throw in so extra milk was added in as the recipe amount was definitely not enough to make the batter wet enough to become dough.


500g rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
15g activated charcoal
3 tbsp canola oil
1 egg
15g dried mint flakes
15g dried parsley flakes
180ml low fat milk (or lactose free milk for dogs)
Oatmeal for sprinkling (optional)

How to:

Preheat oven to 200C.

Combine all dry ingredients together and add in oil, egg and milk. Mix well to form dry batter.

Hand-press batter into teaspoon sized shape and place on greased baking tray and bake for 15mins.

See ya all next week after the Chinese festivities!

Warm love,


Lemon Cake

Back from a fantastic break! Now I feel what some would call hangover, not from booze but from the holiday daze. Apologies for the absence these few days, Im back for a second and will be off for Chinese New Year again!

Before my girly long weekend, I made a cake – not muffins, not cupcakes, not cookies. Trawled the internet for a good recipe but you never know how good it is until you try right? So I settled for lemon cake.

The preparation of batter was not technical and I love the strong lemon flavour especially during the zesting process. I know some lemon cakes tastes more like butter loaf with a hint of lemon. The icing really gives this cake a citrus kick.

But can someone tell me why did my cake crack on the top when it is only ¾ cooked? Well, I kept on baking as long as I thought the cake could take before it becomes over burnt. Yet, the part where the cake cracked was still soft and slightly uncooked.

With my limited knowledge of baking, I thought it could have been inaccurate temperature of the oven. Was the oven too hot or something to do with the mixing of ingredients?

For the sake of icing my first cake, I slathered on the top and enjoyed watching the icing trickle down the sides. The cake was then cut up and the uncooked portions at the crack had to go.

Warm love,


Apple Cake

Further to Starningblue’s Apple Crumble recipe, I was urged to dig out my similar but cake version from my growing to-blog list.

So here you go:-



  • 2 cooking apples, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, diced
  • 1 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180 degree. Grease and line tin.

Toss chopped apple with lemon juice and set aside. Sift flour and baking powder, rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in 3/4 cup of sugar, apple and the egg and mix well, adding sufficient milk to make a soft dropping consistency.

Transfer dough to your tin. Mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the cake.

Bake for 45-50 mins until golden.


Does it look alright? Its quite tasty and I like it warm. Didn’t use 1 cup of sugar though and as you can see I sprinkled lots of cinnamon. Also, 2-3 tbsp of milk wasn’t enough when I make it so make your own judgment.

Tell me how did yours turn out!




Beng Hiang

I can imagine chinese wedding banquets held here, it comes with a small stage and speaker stand too – nostalgic in the other way. This place is kinda too chinese. Then again, that is what makes this place special and who cares when the food is good!

An authentic Hokkien restaurant since 1978, this place has a loyal group of foodies. My parents are one of them. We have visited this place since my grandpa’s time and that was when I was too young to appreciate what is good.

Till recently, my palate was awaken to realize this is actually a place worth bringing your picky aunties UNTIL my recent trip there, now my opinions have dropped a tiny bit. Let me fill you in.

Being obedient customers, we always call to make reservations but don’t expect to be seated promptly during peak hours; you probably have to fight for attention from the usher with other impatient people who also reserved their tables.

It’s pretty much a routine what we order. My mum orders and she almost always order the Fish Maw Soup, Kong Bak Pau, He Choh, Fried Hokkien Noodles and Seasonal Vegetables. Not that I am complaining, they are tried and tested great dishes.

All revved up for a yummy spread, the Fish Maw Soup was served with too much pepper even before you add your own and the Fried Hokkien Noodles tasted like they were rushing to cook it and lost its ‘pang’ness (unique fragrance). Although the Kong Bak Pau retained its standards *delicious* but the two most anticipated dishes that we love fell below par.

They closed for renovations for a period of time; it’s been months since we last visited so maybe new chefs or just a random glitch? We hope it is the latter.

That said, we will give Beng Hiang another chance because we have known this place too long to just dump them just like that. We are grieving but we will try again.

Location: 112-116 Amoy Street

Warm love,


Apple Crumble

How was your weekend? Mine was yummy!

I don’t even remember how long I have been craving for apple crumble. Just did not get a chance to have it when we eat out so to cut the wait, I’m going to make it myself. I think this is just another excuse for me to try another bake.

Timed it so I can bring this to Aileen’s for dinner; she invited a few of us over to her place for chilli crab. To tone down the spice, dessert is apple crumble. *drooling*

Take a peek at our feast that night!

Back to the crumble~ this recipe for was adapted from Nigella's website and tastes really good except a tiny bit sweet for me. It’s a keeper but will tone down the sugar next time. However, my guinea pigs loved it! (At least that’s what they said to me while they ate!)

Based on my preference, I made sure the apples were soft and baked through. I didn’t have a pyrex dish though, so I used disposable aluminum containers and its more convenient to bring it around to share. Didn’t have pecans too, threw in some cranberry for colour.

Next time will try baking crumble in other fruits like mango, banana and maybe pears too. Bliss~

The center tray is a bit burnt. Not very good heat distribution in my oven!


4 Granny Smith Apples - peel, cored and diced
45g butter
150g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
A squeeze of orange juice
Handful of dried cranberries

120g butter
240g plain flour
120g caster sugar

How to:

Freeze butter for filling then dice into cubes when ready to make topping.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Heat 45g of butter in saucepan until melted. Add the squeeze of orange juice, sugar and the apple chunks. Gently sauté and add in cinnamon powder. Continue stirring until apples are mildly soft (but not cooked thoroughly). Add cranberries and stir gently. Remove from heat after about 3 mins.

For topping, thoroughly mix flour and sugar. Place cold butter cubes into the mix, using a butter knife, ‘cut’ butter into the mixture on your palm. Once butter is in small pieces, using fingers rub butter into flour until crumbly and fine.

Spoon fruit into greased dish and sprinkle crumble topping over fruit, covering the fruit well. Place into preheated oven and bake for 15-30 mins or until crumble is light golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream for the ultimate treat!

Warm love,


Quark Bällchen

DSCN05541 DSCN05551

Quark Bällchen, a tradition donut eaten in Germany was one of the best ‘sweet snacks’ I’ve came across during my trip. The sweet smelling giant balls made many, including myself drifting to the stall to get our hands on one. 3 balls for 2€! DSCN05571 DSCN05601

Surprisingly its not greasy and the fried outer layer with the soft, moist inner fillings are great combinations. So soft that it melts in your mouth, so good that I can’t get enough of it. Even better when it warms you up in the wintery cold.

Found the recipe but its not tried and tested yet:

  • 2 Large eggs
  • 40g Sugar
  • 500g Low fat quark (curd cheese)
  • 20g melted butter
  • 266g Flour
  • 67g corn starch
  • 4tsp baking powder

Beat eggs with sugar until foamy, add melted butter and quark in portions - mix until smooth.

In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and add to the quark mixture.

Preheat deep-fat fryer to 190 °C.

Using an ice-cream scoop slide the balls into the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, approx 7 mins.

Remove doughnuts using tongs and drain on paper towels.

Roll the balls on icing sugar.

You have to eat it fresh!!!




Cat's Tongue

Finally knocked off from work tired and dazed. No mood for anything, not even for a nice dinner Kel wants to bring me to. Packed food and went home but itchy fingers wanted to bake something.

I have so many bakes to try; the only thing is just to make sure I have the ingredients I need.
*you should check out my tear-outs and bits-n-pieces of recipes piled up*

Tina passed on this recipe to me not long ago. *Thanks girl! Another great recipe to keep!* Before that, I have not heard of this biscuit.

“Langes de chat, translates literally as Cat’s Tongue, which are crisp, dry biscuits can be made, or rather flavored, in various ways. These biscuits keep for quite a long time and are usually served with certain liqueurs and sparkling wines. They are also served with iced desserts and used as ingredients of various puddings."---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montage [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 e(p. 578)

The earliest record of this recipe was in year 1919… interesting. So now you know a bit more. Why am I dwelling on history here?

I’m not a fan of butter (on its own) so instead of the original flavour, I improvised by dividing the batter into 3 portions. The portions are then individually flavoured with orange zest, green tea powder and chocolate.


200g icing sugar
250g butter
250g plain flour
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

How to:

Beat butter until creamy and soft with mixer, add in icing sugar and beat further until evenly mixed. Add in vanilla essence.

Continue beating; add egg whites bit by bit. Lastly, add flour slowly. Beat until everything is well-blended.

Put mixture in a piping bag. Press into 5 cm length cookies on baking tray lightly greased with butter. Allow 2cm length between cookies.

Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for approximately 8 mins, or until edges are a little brown. Remove from tray, let biscuits cool and store in air-tight container.

For variation – Add in orange zest to batter or replace one-fifth of the flour with cocoa powder, green tea powder or coffee powder.

Be sure to watch the biscuits when baking, they turn brown pretty fast. I have to warn you, these biscuits are not advised to have within reach at all times. Once you start munching, they will be gone in no time!

Warm love,


Feels great…

Have you had a good time recharging too? I have.

Happy New Year! ~ Juanie


Bistro One Zero Three

As much as I try to cook more at home, it is the holiday season (or holiday mood!) so I’m just feeling a tad lazy. Lots of frozen meat in the fridge but I’m just thinking where we can eat out.

Somehow this bistro has been quite blogged about. I join the positive reviews in blogging on this hidden gem.

Have been looking out for this place whenever we drive along Pasir Panjang and West Coast Highway but I’ve looked on the wrong side. They are not located at the side where most eateries and pubs are located. They are actually along the side of Vivocity to the direction of West Coast Park. The signboard of Manhill Restaurant will definitely catch your eye, Bistro One Zero Three is just there at the little corner.

Stepping into a cozy shop, it is very quiet on a Tuesday night. We were received by Karen, the friendly lady owner. Looking at the menu, I could not get pass Mushroom Soup and Grilled Norwegian Salmon. Kel opted for Escargot with White Wine Sauce and the popular Salmon and Crab Pasta.

We came with high expectations and we were rewarded. Although the mushroom soup could be a lil less starchy and have more mushrooms to the bite but my main dish of salmon made it up with the succulent texture perfectly paired with appetite inducing balsamic.

The escargot was uniquely done, not too creamy and pasta came with decent salmon portion. Both starters came with crispy yet soft garlic toast. Though I very much wanted brownies with ice cream for dessert, Kel was too stuffed for it so gave it a miss.

The food was satisfying and we enjoyed the chirpiness of Karen. I can see why she says most of her customers are regulars and some became real good friends.

Location: 103 Pasir Panjang Road

Warm love,


Bak Kut Teh

This is also known as Pork Bone Tea. Some direct translation on shop fronts in Singapore -_-" Ok, I am kidding, this would probably be called Herbal Pork Ribs Soup in plain English.
When I first tasted Bak Kut Teh in Singapore, I almost choked wondering if they got the wrong order of Pork Stomach Soup instead! Although I have been here for many years, I never knew the version here is pepperish. Till now, it is still not to my tastebuds; I have grown up with Malaysian version and still prefer the individual bowl version as opposed to the claypot.

Kel and I have to get a fix of this regularly. It doesn’t always happen we get a chance to have our fave in JB so I buy the soup sachet and we DIY. There are so many types and brands available in supermarkets but personally, Claypot is my preferred ‘instant’ Bak Kut Teh brand and I bought ‘Kau’ (means thick flavour). I think they make the most similar compared to the real thing.

Easy busy. Together with pork and garlic, I pop in some beancurd puff, button mushrooms and prepared you tiao on the side to dunk in. Just follow cooking instructions on packaging and voila~ And must devour Bak Kut Teh with cut chilli and dark thick soya sauce.

For my dear friends abroad, I am sure this is available in grocery stores too. Quick fix for a serious craving!

Warm love,


Good ol’ Brownie

Contrary to popular belief that I will wean off my baking phase, I have been baking quite a bit lately. Besides the failed Oreo cupcakes (don’t ask why -_-“), Choc Chip muffins (see below, improving!) and previously posted Christmas Muffins, I am craving for more choc!

New Year gathering at Din’s place, Kel & I was allocated to bring desserts so I thought I would bake some brownies.

Before the official batch of brownies for that event, I made some to test the recipe out. The result was great! I wanted my bake to be more of a cakey fudge brownie more than a crumby chewy one and it definitely was.

The god-knows-where-I-got-it recipe was not complete. *so I’m not going to bother sharing it* Halfway through preparing the batter, it did not describe when to mix in butter and flour, it says “add in choc mixture” – so what is in the choc MIXTURE? Well, I went with my intuition and prayed for the best. Tadaa~

Not bad for a first timer with a crappy recipe! Brownie was full of dense chocolate with every bite but not overly sweet. Colleagues, Kel and baby sis liked it so that’s a happy ending.

Update: The actual bake for Din’s get-together was a flop. A change of tray resulted in over baking. Never try, never know. Aiks!

Warm love,




Hello everyone, just back from my R&R and guess what I brought back with me? Not a man but the big letter C call COLD. What a nice present to welcome the new year. Thus I need something cooling to freeze off the heat-iness running in me. Badly.

Green bean dessert is my pick. Sweet enough to keep me happy and yet cooling. Though I can’t really smell nor taste anything but I still can imagine its goodness. I don’t think I need to write the recipe since the steps are pretty simple – soak, boil, add sugar, drink. Only thing is I added barley powder & gingko nuts towards the end. I really need to get better right away.

Jetting off again soon. Happy New Year peeps & may you have a smooth year without credit crunching ahead. Straight after Xmas, its New year and then Lunar New year – take care of your health from these festive eating!



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