Sunday, September 21, 2014

Apple, Honey & Yogurt Muffins

Apple, Honey & Yogurt Muffins

Muffins are really easy to make. Muffin recipes are usually fail-proof as long as I follow these three basic muffin rules (from Domestic Goddess Wannabe):

1. Prepare the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients separately.
2. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
3. Stir only until moistened and bake.

So, after a while, I dare myself to create new flavors by mixing and matching ingredients. This round, I try apple, honey, and yogurt.

(Makes 8)

(A) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons honey

(B) 1 cup natural (plain) yogurt, 1 large egg (room temperature), 1 medium apple (cored & grated), 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice

(C) 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 & 1/2 cups wholemeal flour, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

(D) Demerara sugar for sprinkling

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Prepare 8 paper muffin cups.

2. Melt (A) together over medium-low heat. Set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together (B). Add (A) mixture. Set aside.

4. Sift (C) in a bowl. Fold into wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Batter will be sticky. Don't overmix.

5. Fill muffin cups to two-thirds full. Sprinkle each cup with (D). Bake for 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out.

The wet ingredients.

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients...

...and stir until just combined.

Fill cups to two-thirds full. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Freshly baked!

I can still see grated apple! Moist and yummy!


This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (September 2014 Event: Apple) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Kit (I-Lost in Austen).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Garlic & Cheese Popovers

Garlic & Cheese Popovers

Have you heard of popovers? After I find out about the latest Bake-along theme being Popovers, I do some Googling. Popovers are similar to England's Yorkshire pudding, but typically lighter and less dense. Okay, I don't know what a Yorkshire pudding is. Haha.

Popovers are best baked in a special popover pan which has much deeper cups (compared to traditional muffin pans). However, muffin pans can still be used. Woohoo!

Next, popover recipes. Mr. Google provides a lot of recipes. Earlier this month, I baked some Cheddar Cheese Biscuits and I still have garlic powder and cheddar cheese. And so, I bake Garlic & Cheese Popovers.

(Makes 10 in a deep muffin pan)

3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Extra butter for greasing
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Place popover pans (I use a deep muffin pan) on a baking sheet and put the pan at the bottom third of the oven during the preheating process.

2. Warm milk over medium heat at the stove. Switch off heat before it boils and set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Slowly whisk in warm milk and melted butter.

4. Sift together flour, salt, and garlic powder. Add into egg mixture and mix gently. Add grated Cheddar cheese and stir in. Pour batter into a large pitcher.

Note: The batter is runny.

5. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and grease generously with butter. Half-fill the cups and return to the oven immediately.

6. Bake at 220°C for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180°C and bake for another 15 minutes. Leave in the oven for about 5-8 minutes before removing. Serve immediately.

Preheating the deep muffin pan in my oven.

Basic ingredients are eggs, milk, butter, flour, salt.

Half-fill cups with popover batter.

The batter starts to pop over after 10 minutes.

The popping gets more spectacular after 15 minutes.

Almost there!


Here they are! Lovely golden brown crust.

The hollow insides. :)

I'm happy with the results! They are delicious too. Hubby eats three at one go. Hehe. :)

I'm linking this post to the event, Bake-Along #68: Theme - Popovers organized by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings, and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Homemade pasta dishes for my 13mo boy

I would like to share some ideas of fast-easy-nutritious homemade pasta dishes for working moms like myself. :)

#1 - Beef, fresh white & brown button mushrooms, garlic, red lentil, ground rolled oats

I love to use fresh white and brown button mushrooms to make his pasta sauce. I wash the mushrooms in hot water before slicing them into pieces.

I make this pasta sauce this morning from beef, fresh white and brown button mushrooms, garlic, red lentil, and ground rolled oats. 

1. Heat up 2 tablespoons rice bran oil in a frying pan.

2. Add 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic. Stir fry until fragrant.

3. Add beef, mushrooms, and red lentil. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.

4. Add about 1/2 cup homemade stock to slightly cover the ingredients. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes.

5. Stir in 2 tablespoons of ground rolled oats, off the heat, and transfer everything into an electric lunch box.

6. Switch on the lunch box for another 20 minutes to cook through.

After letting the sauce cool down for about 10 minutes, I give it a few blitzes in a blender until it becomes creamy yet lumpy. My boy can take textured pasta sauce already at 13 months.

I boil some alphabet pasta separately and add into the pasta sauce.

Note: I bought Organic Alphabet Pasta from Justlife outlet at Gardens.

#2 - Broccoli, cauliflower, peas, fish, milk, ground rolled oats

This is another homemade pasta sauce. Ingredients include broccoli, cauliflower, peas, fish, milk, and ground rolled oats. This sauce is cooked in fresh milk, without adding extra water. The result is a creamier and smoother sauce. Ground rolled oats provide some texture and stickiness to the sauce.

#3 - English spinach, cauliflower, milk, chicken, ground rolled oats

Apart from alphabet pasta, my boy is also eating safari (animal-shaped) pasta. This pasta sauce is made from English spinach, cauliflower, chicken, milk, and ground rolled oats. 

Here's how I made it: Baby's Safari (Animal-shaped) Pasta with Spinach, Cauliflower & Chicken Sauce.

Note: I bought Safari (animal-shaped) Pasta from Country Farm Organics.

#4 - Millet, brown rice, white button mushroom, onion, garlic, milk, chicken

I find that adding some grains can enhance the pasta's texture and taste; same concept as adding ground rolled oats. This pasta sauce is made from millet, brown rice, onion, garlic, chicken, and milk.

#5 - Potatoes, broccoli, cream cheese

This is my boy's first pasta dish when he turned 10 months old. His first pasta is Heinz's Cook at Home Baby Pasta Stars.

Here's how I made it - Baby's first pasta with cheesy potato-broccoli sauce.

#6 - Potatoes, carrot, chicken

This is another personal favorite - alphabet pasta in ABC soup (potatoes, carrot, and chicken). The ABC soup is cooked in a slow cooker for about 6 hours. Easy and nutritious.

#7 - Spinach, cherry tomatoes, chicken, anchovies, garlic, egg

I quite like this dish but my boy doesn't like it. Hahaha. I stir fry everything together in this sequence: rice bran oil, garlic, chicken, anchovies (soaked overnight), spinach, cherry tomatoes, egg, pasta (boiled and drained). It's ready to be served under 15 minutes.

#8 - Fish, potatoes, peas, milk, grated Cheddar cheese

This is my boy's first baked pasta dish. 

What about you? Any good toddler-friendly pasta dishes to share? :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Take note of long weekends (public holidays) in 2015 (Malaysian edition)

These long weekends (applicable to those working in KL) are:

1-4 Jan: Take leave on 2-Jan (Fri) to get long weekend (Thu till Sun). Public holidays are 1-Jan (New Year) and 3-Jan (Prophet Muhammad's Birthday).

31 Jan - 3 Feb: Long weekend from Sat till Tue. No need to take leave. Public holidays are 1-Feb (Federal Territory Day) and 3-Feb (Thaipusam).

19-22 Feb: Long weekend from Thu till Sun. Public holidays are 19 & 20 Feb (Chinese New Year). Some companies might give extra leave day on CNY eve, 18-Feb (Wed).

1-3 May: Long weekend from Fri till Sun. Public holiday is 1-May (Labor Day).

30 May - 1 Jun: Long weekend from Sat till Mon. Public holiday is 1-Jun (Wesak Day).

17*-19 Jul: Long weekend from Fri till Sun. Public holidays are 17 & 18 Jul* (Hari Raya Puasa). Some companies might give an extra leave day on 20-Jul (Mon).

27*-31 Aug: Take leave on 28-Aug (Fri) to get long weekend (Thu till Mon). Public holidays are 27-Aug* (Nuzul Al-Quran) and 31-Aug (National Day).

24*-27 Sep: Take leave on 25 Sep (Fri) to get long weekend (Thu till Sun). Public holiday is 24-Sep* (Hari Raya Haji).

14*-18 Oct: Take leave on 15 & 16 Oct (Thu-Fri) to get long weekend (Wed till Sun). Public holiday is 14-Oct* (Awal Muharram).

24*-27 Dec: Long weekend from Thu till Sun. Public holidays are 24-Dec* (Prophet Muhammad's Birthday) and 25-Dec (Christmas).

* Subject to changes

Other sources:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Honey Buttermilk Chia Bread (baked in bread maker)

Here's my latest loaf of homemade bread baked in my Cornell Bread Master bread maker.

Honey Buttermilk Chia Bread

Recipe adapted from here.

(Makes a 2lb bread)

1 & 1/4 cups buttermilk (I use powdered buttermilk reconstituted into liquid by adding water)
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
1 & 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups bread flour
1 cup wholemeal bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast

How to:

1. By following the bread maker's manual, I have listed the ingredients' sequence correctly - in terms of which ingredient goes into the bread maker first - in the list above.

2. Close the lid, select the "basic" setting, loaf size (2lb), crust type (light), and press start.

3. Once the baking cycle is done, remove the bread pan from the machine to cool down.

Note: Please add the ingredients into the bread pan by following your bread maker's manual.

Buttermilk Powder (bought from iHerb.com)

Sliced and ready to be served.


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