Friday, May 27, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

My brother made these batch of pumpkin cookies from a recipe he obtained from the Joy of


2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt          
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (260 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil or corn oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (215 grams) canned pumpkin puree
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces (115 grams) room temperature cream cheese, regular of low fat
2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (55 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Note: Instead of frosting the cookies, you could add to the batter either 1 cup of chopped nuts or 1 cup of chocolate chips.


For Pumpkin Cookies:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Ina large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt.

In the bowl ofyour electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and smooth (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Using 1/4 cup of batter (can use a small ice cream scoop or measuring cup) place small mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

Bake for about 15 -18 minutesor until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean.Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.  Place small dollops of the frosting on each cookie or put the frosting in a piping bag, fitted with a small plain tip, and pipe swirls of frosting on the top of each cookie. Store frosted cookies in the refrigerator.

Beat the cream cheese and butter until soft and creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla until the frosting is soft and creamy.

Makes about 18 cookies.

Klivans, Elinor.Big Fat Cookies. Chronicle Books. San Francisco: 2005.
Ojakangas, Beatrice.The Great Holiday Baking Book. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis: 1994.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lemon and Garlic Drink

The combination of garlic and lemon can form a perfect combo for your health. As both garlic and lemon have anti-septic and anti-bacteria properties, their mixture can be use to strengthen respiratory system, prevent colds, flu and infections. Recent researches have established the beneficial properties of regularly consuming garlic and lemon for diabetics. Eating garlic and lemon also helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.


6 lemons
30 cloves garlic
1 litre water


Cut the lemons into slices. Peel the skin from the garlic. Place the lemon slices and garlic into a pot and pour in the water.

Place the pot onto a stove and simmer in low heat for 1 hour. Switch off the heat and allow to cool.

Pour the lemon slices, garlic and water into a blender and blend until smooth and thick.

Pour the blended mixture into a glass container and keep refrigerated.

Drink daily in the morning on an empty stomach by mixing 1 teaspoon of the mixture with a glass of lukewarm water.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Banana Yogurt Smoothie

This delicious smoothie is packed with protein, potassium, calcium, fiber, vitamin c and omega-3s.


1 medium banana
4 tbsp Quaker oats
1 cup orange juice
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp flaxseeds
3-4 ice cubes


Place the flaxseeds in a blender and puree for 30 seconds until they are coarsely ground.

Cut the banana into small pieces and add into the blender with the oats, yogurt, orange juice and ice cubes and blend until smooth and thick. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

You can also use a pear in place of the banana. Just as delicious!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Olive and Mustard Egg Salad Sandwich


¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp paprika (optional)
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and mashed
2 tbsp sliced green olives (about 7-8 medium olives)
2 tbsp finely chopped celery
1 tbsp fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Whole grain bread
Butter spread
Salad leaves


In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard and paprika. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Season to taste. Chill for at least an hour before serving to help flavours combine.

Butter the sliced bread with butter spread and place 2 tablespoons of filling on bread. Top with salad leaves and sandwich with another slice of bread.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stir-fried Fragrant Sauce Clams (Kam Heong La La)


500g clams
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp dried Shrimps, soaked and chopped
2 stalks curry leaves
1 tbsp chopped lemon grass
5 chilli, finely sliced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp preserved soya beans, minced


1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
A little thick soy sauce
¼ tsp chicken stock granules
½ tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
¾ tbsp water


Soak clams in salted water for at least 30 minutes. Remove and blanch in boiling water for a minute or less, then drain well in a plastic container.

Heat oil and sesame oil in a wok. Saute dried shrimps until fragrant.

Add curry leaves, lemon grass, garlic and chillies. Stir in minced soya beans and curry powder to mix.

Stir in seasoning and clams. Fry until heated through and dish out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mid-Autumn Festival Moon Cakes

Mid-Autumn Festival is on 3rd October 2009, this coming Saturday. But moon cakes have already been available for sale since early July and this year, there are even more vendors selling the moon cakes. Besides the moon cakes from the famous brands like Tai Thong, Baker’s Cottage, Overseas and Tong Kee, this year, you can also find a selection of moon cakes from some of the bakery outlets like Bread Story and Breadtalk. And there are so many new and exotic flavours available like the Precious Black (dried longan with wolfberry lotus paste), Blueberry Blackcurrant Cheese, Jade Delights with Coconut Silk, Snow Skin Strawberry Apple, Snow Skin Coffee Chip Tiramisu and Snow Skin Chocolate Mint with Nut Pieces.

Pay a visit to Mid-Valley Megamall’s Mid-Autumn Festival Promotion and you will be able to see the variety of moon cakes created by the hotel chefs from Westin KL, Concorde, Shangri-la, Hilton, Renaissance and Nikko Hotel. And at the Jaya Jusco outlet there, you will also find the Doreamon moon cakes beside those from the tops brands and Baker’s Cottage has a chef making the Shanghai Mini Lotus moon cakes at their stall.

It is also interesting to see the various types of packaging for the moon cakes which include beautiful jewelry boxes, Japanese inspired bento boxes, Chess sets (the mini moon cakes are shaped like chess pieces); no wonder the moon cakes are getting so expensive!

At home, I have been eating moon cakes bought by my siblings for my parents. This year, they decided to bring the moon cakes over earlier as last year, everyone brought the moon cakes on the day of the festival and my mom ended up giving back the moon cakes to my sisters and brothers to take back. This year, eating the moon cakes earlier meant they are still fresh and we get to taste all the various flavours.

The moon cakes in my house came from Westin Hotel, Tong Kee, Baker’s Cottage and one box of homemade “Kam Tui” moon cakes given by my father’s friend. I had also bought a box of moon cakes from Fruit Story which has a stall at Mid-Valley’s Mid-Autumn Festival Promotion. Fruit Story moon cakes are less sweet and healthier as they use fruits for the filling instead of the salted egg yolk. The two flavours I bought were Mint Lotus with Strawberry and Dragon Fruit Lotus with Salted Mung Bean.

Enjoy your mooncakes with a pot of chinese tea and have a wonderful and Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Seafood and Turkey Bacon Paella


2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green capsicum, seeds removed, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
200g turkey bacon pieces
or rindless turkey bacon, cut into thin strips
1 large tomato, chopped or
200g canned chopped tomatoes
200g paella rice or arborio rice
½ tsp saffron threads, crushed
1.2 litres hot chicken or fish stock
400g mixed seafood (marinara mix)
lime wedges to serve (optional)


Heat oil in non-stick frying pan. Add onion, capsicum, garlic and turkey bacon and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Add tomato and cook 2 minutes.

Add rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add saffron threads and heat for a few seconds, then pour in hot stock. Bring to the boil, stir lightly and simmer 5 minutes.

Mix in seafood, return to a gentle simmer and cook 10 minutes or until rice in tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Serve with lime wedges if you like.