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ANNOUNCEMENT

I have launched a series of blog posts called Featured Mommypreneurs in collaboration with mommypreneurs (i.e. mommies entrepreneurs). Let me know if you're interested to join me to feature your products / services. :)

 

 

Pumpkin & Papaya Coconut Milk Smoothie - #breakfastseries


Pumpkin & Papaya Coconut Milk Smoothie

This is my last submission to this month's Little Thumbs Up blog hop event (theme: coconut) which is ending today. My previous submissions are:

Coconut Milk Bundt Cake (coconut milk & coconut oil)
Chicken & Vegetables in Foil Packets
(coconut amino)
30-Minute One-Pot Chicken & Rice (coconut amino)


Ingredients:
(Serves 1-2)

1 cup roasted pumpkin puree
1 cup ripe papaya puree
1 cup reduced-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
A handful crushed ice
1 tablespoon dried cranberries, to garnish

Note: It's best to chill the purees and coconut milk in the fridge before making this smoothie.



How to:

1. Mix everything, except dried cranberries, in a blender. Add water or ice to thin out the smoothie if it's too thick to your liking.

2. Garnish with dried cranberries. Serve immediately.



Drink it all up!

Packed with beta carotene.


Photobucket

This post is also linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (October 2015 Event: Coconut) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jess (Bakericious).


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Chili & Tomato Fish + Avocado, Tuna & Orzo Salad


Chili & Tomato Fish

It's IHCC's potluck week. Ever since I joined IHCC's weekly blog hop event, I have cultivated this habit and routine of planning my meals based on their weekly themes. At times when I want to cook or bake something beyond the themes, I will start with searching for recipes from IHCC's listed chefs. I have discovered so many precious recipes, different cuisines, and learned new techniques. That's why I stay put with IHCC for the past one year. :)

I joined IHCC when they introduced Diana Henry. My first linky submission was Diana's Roast Chicken Thigh with Autumn Fruits & Quinoa in early October 2014. I couldn't believe one year has passed!

For this week's potluck, I have cooked Nigella's Eggs in Purgatory. But I'm in the mood of cooking more dishes. So, I cook two Donna Hay's "fishy" recipes. They are Chili & Tomato Fish and Avocado, Tuna & Orzo Salad. :)


Recipe adapted from DonnaHay.com.

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 slice (about 200g) ikan tenggiri
1 (400g) can no-salt-added chopped tomatoes, with its juices
1 cup cooked veggie macaroni, al dente

How to:

1. Heat up oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan. Add chopped onions and chili flakes. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

2. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the fish, add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes each side.

3. Increase the heat to high, add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add macaroni and stir well until they are coated with the sauce. Serve hot.


And now, the second recipe.


Avocado, Tuna & Orzo Salad

Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (170g) tuna flakes in oil
1 cup cooked orzo pasta
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 handful lightly salted mixed nuts (cashew, macadamia, almond)

Mix all in one bowl and eat!



I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, IHCC October Potluck!


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Eggs in Purgatory - #breakfastseries


Eggs in Purgatory

It's IHCC's potluck week. Yay! So, we get to cook throwback dishes from recipes by any of these IHCC chefs: Nigella Lawson, Mark Bittman, Giada de Laurentiis, Jamie Oliver, Tessa Kiros, Rick Bayless, Madhur Jaffrey, Yotam Ottolenghi, Donna Hay, Nigel Slater, Diana Henry, Jacques Pepin, Ellie Krieger.

I think I have cooked something from everyone on the list, I think. On a side note, I have bookmarked Nigella's Eggs in Purgatory for quite some time. Eggs in Purgatory is basically eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes (mainly). The Tunisians call it Shakshuka.

Rich in flavor and nutrients from the eggs and tomatoes, this perfect brekkie dish is so hearty you will lick your bowl, or plate clean! Trust me! :)


Recipe slightly adapted from Nigella.com.

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes (or more to taste)
1 (400g) can no-salt-added chopped tomatoes, with its juices
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese (or more if needed)
1/2 ripe avocado, cut into 4-6 wedges


How to:

1. Heat up olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add minced garlic and chili flakes. Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Then, add tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil.

2. Crack in the eggs and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over it. Cover the pan partially. Bring to a boil again for about 5-8 minutes, depending on how cooked you want the yolks to be.

3. Remove from the heat. Arrange the avocado on top and serve hot.




I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, IHCC October Potluck!


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Postpartum depression is not a joke

Source: rcpsych.ac.uk

Recently, my Facebook news feed is bombarded with the news about a new mother who fell to her death from the 16th floor of her condo due to stress for being unable to breastfeed her baby and was bored with no work to do around the house. There are lots of responses; some might be true, some downright nonsensical. But one thing rings true: postpartum / postnatal depression (PPD / PND).

I did some research. The information below comes from postpartumdepression.web.unc.edu/

Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders exist on a spectrum, from relatively mild and non-clinically significant postpartum blues to severely impairing episodes of postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis.

Postpartum Blues
- occurs in 50-85% of women during the first few weeks postpartum
- symptoms: irritability, anxiety, fluctuating mood, and increased emotional reactivity
- mild and non-impairing, and spontaneously remit around two weeks postpartum; not considered as psychiatric disorder

The difference between baby blues and depression is very obvious. Mothers generally get better in two to three weeks for baby blues. The insidious depression continues — and it only gets worse.

Postpartum Depression
- occurs in 13% of mothers in first year postpartum
- develops three weeks after delivery and persists for at least three months
- symptoms: excessive guilt, anxiety, depressed mood, insomnia/hypersomnia, suicidal ideation, fatigue
- over one-half of women remain depressed at 5-9 months and one-third of women are still depressed from 12-18 months after childbirth

Postpartum Psychosis
 - occurs in 0.1-0.2% of mothers in first three months postpartum
- symptoms: mixed or rapid cycling between manic and depressive episodes, agitation, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized behavior, cognitive impairment, low insight.
- severe, considered psychiatric emergency; often necessitates hospitalization


What can you do about it?

I definitely had postpartum blues. I faced it, acknowledged it, and I survived. I wasn't ashamed to tell my husband, "Hey, I don't know why am I crying without reason but I'm telling you I'm crying." But it really wasn't easy.

As a new mom, right after I got home from the hospital, I felt super overwhelmed because this new little human being kept on wanting to latch on and cry and I had no idea if he was having enough milk or not or if something was amiss. Why was his poop still green on the seventh day? Why was his bilirubin count so freaking high? Would he suddenly drop dead?

I have never felt so emotionally or physically challenged in my life. I hated being not in control, I felt defeated, hopeless, and in despair.

So, what exactly did I go through? Read this blog post: Behind the scenes: First 4 weeks of motherhood and this one: Surviving the Fourth Trimester.

And this little surprise card saved me.


I received this surprise card from my husband and my then three weeks old baby boy. I wasn't in a good shape back then. I was drowning in tears almost every day. I guessed my husband saw the situation. A man of few words, he managed to come up with such thoughtful way to show his support.

So, yes, family support is very important. We women are vulnerable to postpartum hormonal changes, something that we cannot control. But we can empower ourselves by reading up about postpartum blues and depression. We can learn to identify the symptoms and we can ask for our family's support. At the first sign of problem, please don't hesitate to talk to your family members.

One more thing, NO ONE can be the best mother to your baby except YOU. I repeat, NO ONE can replace you. Please remember this and don't compare yourself to another mother. If you must compare, compare yourself with yourself from one week ago or two months ago.

It gets better. Really. Hang in there.

You will be proud of yourself one year later or more when you look back.

Be a warrior, not a worrier. Okay?


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iOli Malaysia launches nursing friendly attire line for breastfeeding mothers

Source

iOli Malaysia is launched!

Announcing this wonderful news to all fellow breastfeeding mothers! iOli Malaysia, a home-grown and upscale nursing friendly wear has launched its first collection! iOli Malaysia's collection is designed and targeted especially for working-breastfeeding mothers.

iOli Malaysia aims to celebrate and empower mothers throughout the beautiful journey of motherhood. Their goal is to provide aid for working-breastfeeding mothers in ensuring them feeling confident and professional when they go back to work whilst nurturing their children at home.

To do so, iOli Malaysia creates stylish, comfortable, and nursing friendly dresses that support modern mothers in finding the balance amidst their passions, interest, goals, and the miracle of motherhood – especially during breastfeeding stage.

Yan Lim, founder of iOli Malaysia.

"We make mothers feel beautiful, confident and empowered."

 "iOli Malaysia aims to make all mothers feel confident as a first time mother or a few times mother. And to do that, we need to ensure mothers go back to work after giving birth in style and getting the comfort they need to nurse and pump at work. Our pledge to mothers goes beyond fashion. We are a fashion brand with the core purpose to make mothers feel beautiful, confident and empowered. We create contemporary, smart and versatile clothing that provides style and comfort (with proper access on chest) for nursing and pumping mothers," shared Yan Lim, founder of iOli Malaysia.

Fourth from left: Founder of iOli Malaysia, Yan Lim with
the line of models donning the nursing-friendly attire
during the launch of iOli Malaysia at Subang Jaya.

Fourth from left: Founder of iOli Malaysia, Yan Lim with
the line of models donning the nursing-friendly attire
during the launch of iOli Malaysia at Subang Jaya.

The birth of iOli Malaysia

Prior iOli Malaysia, founder Yan Lim worked in the Public Relations & Advertising field, whereby dressing appropriately and confidently is almost compulsory. As a corporate lady and a mother at the same time, she needed to look fashionable and professional. And being a breastfeeding mother, she also needed nursing friendly attire!

However, it's rather tedious to find a fashionable nursing friendly attire in Malaysia because most fashion labels are in the business of creating trendy and fashionable attire but they are not nursing friendly.

Therefore, iOli Malaysia was born.

Congratulations Yan!!!


Pre-order sneak peek!


Orders will be closed on 1 November 2015. Hurry!


Where to find iOli Malaysia?




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Savory Sweet Potato Soup


Savory Sweet Potato Soup

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), we are cooking any Ellie Krieger recipe that features or includes orange-hued ingredients.


The ingredients that come to my mind are pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, papayas, peaches. In the end I choose Ellie's sweet potato soup. Soups are easily accepted by my toddler, so soup it is!


Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients: 
(Serves 4)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
1 cup baby carrots
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
4 cups water
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 cup lightly toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons flax seeds, to garnish


How to:

1. Heat oil over a medium-high heat in a deep pot. Add onions, bell pepper and carrots. Cook until softened. Add garlic, black pepper, and ginger. Stir in sweet potatoes, water, and tomatoes and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Puree the soup together with sunflower seeds and extra virgin olive oil. Once done, ladle into bowls and garnish with flax seeds. Serve warm.




I'm glad I cook this soup. The combination of bell pepper, carrot, sweet potato, and tomatoes produces this lovely orange-reddish hue. The original recipe requires the addition of creamy peanut butter but I don't have any in the kitchen. So, I add sunflower seeds and olive oil instead. The end result is good, if not as great. :)



I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, Think Orange!


14

Introducing miso paste into toddlers' meals


I introduced miso paste to my toddler when he turned 19 months. He's 26 months old now. :)

Here's an adapted excerpt from "Journal of a nutritionist mom" that I refer to when I want to include miso into my toddler's meals. 

What is miso paste?

Miso paste is an Asian seasoning made by fermenting a mixture of soybeans, barley, brown rice and several other grains with koji or also known as Aspergillus oryzae. The result of this fermentation is a smooth-textured paste with a strong savory flavor.

Health benefits of miso

Nutritionally, miso provides mostly carbohydrate with some protein. It is also rich in several of the B-complex vitamins and contains several minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, copper and magnesium.

Often used in Japanese cooking, miso is a healthy, probiotic food that helps support digestion by adding beneficial microorganisms to your digestive tract. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, consuming miso rich in probiotics can shorten the duration of infectious diarrhea, especially in children.

Do I need to worry about its saltiness?

Based on this article, recent research has shown that in spite of its high-sodium content, miso does not appear to affect our cardiovascular system in the way that other high-sodium foods sometimes can.

In recent animal studies, for example, identical concentrations of salt (sodium chloride) obtained from miso versus table salt were discovered to have very different impacts on blood pressure. High-salt diets that derived their high salt level from table salt raised blood pressure in these animal studies, but high-salt diets that derived their high salt level from miso did not raise blood pressure.


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How to add miso paste into toddler's meals?

Avoid boiling miso directly because this will nullify its effectiveness as a probiotic food. Gradually add miso paste a little at a time into simmering liquid and continue stirring, keeping the heat at a low temperature.

What I usually do is, after I have cooked my toddler's meal (e.g. porridge/soup/stew), I removed the pot from direct heat and stir in miso paste until well incorporated. I usually use one to two teaspoons of miso paste per meal.


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Sample meals that I have cooked



Stew Mixed Grains Rice with Miso

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

6 tablespoons mixed grains rice, soaked overnight & drained
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 piece organic tofu, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup organic salt-free seaweed strips
2 tablespoons goji berries
Enough water to cover the ingredients
2 teaspoons miso paste

How to: 

Put all ingredients, except miso paste, into the stainless steel pot of an electric lunch box. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Steam-cook for about 40 minutes. Once done, remove the pot from the cooker and stir in miso paste until well incorporated.




Millet Noodles in French Beans, Egg & Seaweed Miso Broth

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 handful French beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch sticks
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup organic salt-free seaweed strips
1 roll millet noodles
2 teaspoons miso paste

How to: 

Heat up vegetable oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add French beans and cook for about 2 minutes. Add water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in egg, seaweed, and millet noodles. Cover and simmer until the noodles are cooked. Off the heat and stir in miso paste until well incorporated.



Soy Noodles in Spinach & Seaweed Miso Broth

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, blanched
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup organic salt-free seaweed strips
1 roll soy noodles
2 teaspoons miso paste

How to: 

Heat up vegetable oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add spinach and water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in egg, seaweed, and soy noodles. Cover and simmer until the noodles are cooked. Off the heat and stir in miso paste until well incorporated.



Steel-cut Oatmeal with Miso

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)

6 tablespoons steel-cut oats, soaked overnight & drained
1/4 piece organic tofu, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup organic salt-free seaweed strips
2 brown button mushrooms, chopped
Enough water to cover the ingredients
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, blanched
2 teaspoons miso paste

How to: 

Put all ingredients, except spinach and miso paste, into the stainless steel pot of an electric lunch box. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Steam-cook for about 40 minutes. Once done, remove the pot from the cooker, add in spinach and stir in miso paste until well incorporated.

  
Veggie Quinoa Miso Soup
(cooked in Zojirushi Stainless Steel Food Jar) 

Ingredients:
(Serves 1)

4 tablespoons mixed quinoa & rice, soaked overnight & drained
1 handful radish cubes
1 handful spring onions
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon miso paste

How to: 

Fill up an empty Zojirushi jar with boiling water, close and tighten the lid set, and set aside for at least 2 minutes. Discard the water. Put all ingredients listed above (except miso paste) into the jar. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the ingredients. Close and tighten the lid set. Shake the food jar for a while. After 5 minutes, discard the water carefully so that the ingredients don't spill out. Then, pour in 2 cups of boiling water, close and tighten the lid set, shake, set aside and wait for minimum 2 hours. Before serving, stir in miso paste and test the temperature before serving.


Note: Collaborative blog post with Little Baby Grains will be up soon!


0

Garlic-Thyme Braised Chicken with Vegetables


Garlic-Thyme Braised Chicken with Vegetables

I have always love to cook braised dishes, especially if they are also one-pot meals. This recipe from Urban Stove is a definite keeper and I just have to blog about it.

In case you missed what Urban Stove is, check out these posts that I have blogged about Urban Stove. Also, have a look at my Facebook page for Urban Stove's recipes that I have cooked.

In a nutshell, Urban Stove helps you cook wholesome dinners conveniently, in just 30 minutes, by providing fresh pre-portioned ingredients right to your doorstep.

Okay, back to this delicious braised chicken and vegetables recipe.


Recipe slightly adapted from Urban Stove.


Ingredients: 
(Serves 2)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium celery ribs, cut into 1-inch batons
1 cup 1-inch pumpkin cubes
1 cup 1-inch sweet potato cubes
2 medium young leek, cut into 1-inch batons
8 cherry tomatoes
3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed from stalks
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter 
Salt and pepper, to taste


How to:

1. Season both chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat up vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan. Sear the chicken thighs (skin side down) until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Do the same to the other side. Once done, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

2. Reduce heat to low-medium. Add chopped garlic to the same frying pan and cook until fragrant. Add celery batons, pumpkin cubes, sweet potato cubes, leek batons, cherry tomatoes, and thyme leaves. Give everything a good stir for a few minutes.

3. Make some space in the middle of the pan and place the chicken thighs (skin side up). Then, add vegetable stock. The chicken should be barely covered. Simmer gently over medium heat for 25-30 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat once chicken is fully cooked. Add butter and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


Here's my 26mo boy enjoying his dinner.

 Other Urban Stove recipes from the same box

Conchiglie, Sauce Pomodoro, Meatballs & Mozzarella
with Green Salad

North Indian Chicken Passanda with Steamed Rice


http://www.joycescapade.com/search/label/Urban%20Stove
Posted by joycescapade.com on Thursday, July 9, 2015



0

Mellow Meatballs (Nigella Lawson)


Mellow Meatballs (Nigella Lawson)

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), we are doing a new segment called Monthly Featured Chef. This month, Nigella Lawson is the featured chef. Everyone knows Nigella Lawson, the super gorgeous talented chef whose passion for food and cooking is amazing.

Quoting IHCC, this week is a dedication to the glory of Nigella and her recipes. Oh yeah! So, I have chosen Nigella's Mellow Meatballs as the dish for this week's event.


Recipe slightly adapted from Nigella.com.

Ingredients: 
(Serves 2) 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon red curry paste
20 mini meatballs, about 1-inch each
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup reduced-fat coconut milk
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 cup chickpeas, drained
2 cups diced pumpkin and sweet potato
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dill, finely chopped


How to:

1. Heat up vegetable oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the meatballs, turning them around until they are covered by the oil-curry mixture.

2. Add ground cinnamon and ground ginger. Continue frying for about 2 minutes. Then, add coconut milk, tomatoes, chickpeas, pumpkin, sweet potato, and chicken stock.

3. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer gently for about 25 minutes. Once done, scoop into bowls and garnish with chopped dill.


I adore this dish's robust flavor and gorgeous color.

Sprinklings of green dill provide such nice contrast.

Thanks Nigella for your wonderful recipe!

I keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. The next day, I reheat and pack it for my lunch at work. It tastes much deeper and richer. Such bliss and yumminess!


Photo source

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, New Monthly Featured Chef Event: Nigella Lawson!


Photobucket

This post is also linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (October 2015 Event: Coconut) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jess (Bakericious).


22

Coconut Milk Bundt Cake - #breakfastseries


Coconut Milk Bundt Cake

I have this rather crazy idea of combining both coconut oil and coconut milk in a cake. i.e. virgin coconut oil to replace butter and coconut milk to replace either milk or buttermilk. That's because Coconut is the theme of this month's Little Thumbs Up blog hop event! 

I might sound a little crazy but oh boy, how glad I am for making the decision to bake this seriously fragrant, moist, and delicious bundt cake! I'm in coconut heaven!



Recipe loosely adapted from here.

Ingredients:
(Serves 8-10)

1 cup organic all-purpose flour
1 cup organic wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons organic baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan pink salt
2/3 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
2/3 cup organic molasses sugar
4 free-range eggs
1 tablespoon organic pure vanilla extract
1 cup reduced-fat coconut milk


How to:

1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Lightly grease a 10-cup Bundt pan.
Note: The 10-cup Bundt pan is a bit too big. So, I get a rather short cake. Lol. I guess a 20cm round pan works best.


2. Sift both flours, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

3. Whisk coconut oil and molasses sugar in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add eggs one at a time, whisking for 15 seconds between additions.

4. Add alternating increments of the flour mixture and the coconut milk, blending well after each addition.

5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes and a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cools in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.


Fragrant, moist, delicious!

They kinda melts in your mouth.

Before slicing.

After slicing.

A slice of cake with a dollop of honey Greek yogurt.


Photobucket

This post is also linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (October 2015 Event: Coconut) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jess (Bakericious).


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