Gräciõ's LäveñderBliss Café: September 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Chocolate Chocolate I love U

"Hintz Cocoa Powder, BEST for drinking & baking
". That's what it says on the tin itself. When I saw this word "Baking" I couldn't resist & it was off the shelf immediately.

Friends who really knows me knows that I love chocolates. It's a definite luxury to sit at a cosy corner at a café, just eating chocolate muffins and having a cup of hot chocolate while reading a book is something that one can ever ask for. Don't U guys agree? :)

My hands got itchy, my brain was telling me to try out the cocoa powder, I was too tempted & I got down to bake. Haha!

Darn! I better not be so chocolatey greedy these days as ulcers are popping up in my mouth again. Guess after that whole batch of
Crunchy Crackers I made last week makes heatiness come back again. Got to make some cooling drinks again, so gotta give my hot chocolate drink a miss.

Overall, I'm glad I made these Chocolate Muffins. Next time I shall add chocolate chips with 'hundreds & thousands' as decorations. I love 100s & 1000s, beautiful and bright colours makes my day.

This time, I used Lindt Dark Chocolate Excellence (with 85% Cocoa) as toppings & broke them into small pieces, didn't dare to put much as I wasn't sure whether it would turn out melted. Thank God it didn't, most importantly my muffins didn't flopped. The taste of the bitter chocolate topping blend in totally with the sweet muffin. They rose beautifully with the chocolate still sitting steadily at the top. I'm fulfilled. :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Back To Cooking

It has been a while since I blogged. Time flies, 24hrs seems way too short for someone like me wanting to do so many things. One week has passed, September is gonna say tata, and we'll be welcoming October soon.

Was on a short break from being a busy bee in the kitchen. Tonight I was keen to try out making a tomato paste based rice. I like it but hubby doesn't seem to fancy due to the beef smell in the rice as I've added some minced beef & beef stock. Oh well, can't suit everyone's taste.

Festive Rice

Celest was kind to give us some shui gow she has made. Black fungus was added too. Delicious and crunchy. And so, Shui Gow Soup to go with our rice.

Giselle, u sure would love to have this. :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Crunch Crunch,Crack Crack

No, I didn't make these from scratch in case u ask. :P My job is just to deep fry them in hot oil & that's it. Simple, fuss-free & yummy!

I bought those ready made dried crackers from Indonesia while I was visiting Eve last June. Wanted to fry them long time ago, but was too lazy, as usual. :(

Suddenly the thought of eating some crunchy crackers makes my mouth & hands itchy, that's why I got down to "work" this afternoon.

Deep fried a mixture of Vegetable & Prawn Crackers. I prefer the vege cracker while Eve's opposite of my taste.

Oke, here's 10 pcs to each of u who are a fan of crackers! :)

(The plain ones are prawns crackers)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Pandan Muffins

Yay! My Pandan Muffins (recipe by Florence from KC) turn out really well, they rise nicely, and the muffin paper is easily tear apart when u wanna have a bite of it.

Probably muffins are easier to make, everything went well, no hiccups to my surprise. Wished this could always happen when I bake cakes. haha!

Bought a muffin tray last weekend from Ikea & was so eager to use it. my next muffin shall be chocolate chip muffin as I've bought a rather cheap & good cocoa powder. Hopefully within these few days I get to use it, provided I get to buy cheaper chocolate chips, the one I found cost quite a bit which I don't bear to spend a huge sum on. :P

Simply love the design of the muffin paper which has been sitting in my cupboard long time ago, bought them to keep as they're really cute. Didn't get a chance to use it until now. :P

I'm looking forward to baking my own pandan chiffon cake when the tin from singapore arrives! :)

**Click on the pic to see larger photos**

Recipe yields about 11-12 muffins

Stuffs U Need:
200g flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
100g sugar
200ml pandan coconut milk**
80ml corn oil
2 eggs

1. Put all dry ingredients into a big mixing bowl.
2. Beat eggs then add in oil and pandan coconut milk.
3. Pour (2) into (1) and blend well. Do not over mix.
4. Fill up lined muffin pans up to 90% full.
5. Bake at 180C for 20 -25 minutes or until cooked.

**I use 200ml coconut milk powder mixed with water & add 1tsp pandan paste instead.
** If not, just blend 5-10pcs of pandan leaves together with 200ml of coconut milk.

Simply Thai

"Tom yum is perhaps the most famous of all Thai soups. It is a hot and sour soup flavored with fish sauce, shallots, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, tamarind and chillies.

There are several variants of tom yum depending on the soup ingredients. The soup may be clear (without coconut) or with coconut milk (called tom yam num khon). The most famous variety of tom yum is tom yam kung, where the main ingredients are shrimp and mushrooms, with shrimp fat added for taste and a milky look. Other varieties are also available, such as tom yam kai (chicken) and tom yam thale (seafood)".

So here's my Tom Yam Thale. A mixture of prawns, fresh & button mushrooms, fish, sotong(squid), firm tofu & coriander as garnish. "Not the best that I've tasted b4, but still good",hubby said. haha!

Snow Peas are hubby's favourite vegetable. I guess he likes them cuz they are crunchy. I added Fresh Mushrooms, Fried Eggs Strips & Toasted Sesame Seeds to further entice our appetite for the evening.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Busy Evening

My kitchen stove is 'neglected' by me as I've been kind of hooked to baking lately. Haven't been cooking up a storm since last thursday as hubby wasn't home.

So tonight, I am busy again after I was given a short holiday from cooking. Feels so recharged, was kinda excited as I've had many dishes running thru' my mind, just can't decide which ones to cook.

Here's the fulfilling dinner that we had, hubby's next day 'bento box' is packed to the peak, think he will enjoy having his packed lunch tomorrow. :)

This recipe is adapted from 'Periplus Eurasian Favourites' mini cook book but as usual I made some changes again.

Minced Meat with Fried Potatoes

Stuffs U Need:
Oil for deep-frying
1 large potato, diced

1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
150g minced pork

150g low fat minced beef
a pinch of ground black pepper
20ml water

1tbsp dark soy sauce
a pinch of sugar

1) Deep fry potatoes in hot oil and fry til golden brown and tender. Remove and drain on paper towels.
2) Add 1tbsp oil to wok, when hot, add in garlic & onions sauté till fragrant & tranlucent.
3) Add in minced meats, stir fry till almost done, add ground black pepper, seasonings & water. Simmer uncovered until water has evaporated.
4) Serve hot with previously deep fried potatoes as garnish.


Next up is this Sauté Chicken & Mushrooms.


I heard from friends that "Brahim's" premixes sauces are great. Bought these afew weeks back, and finally get to use it tonight. Here's the Sambal Tumis Prawns. Really yummy, can't resist the gravy, ate spoons after spoons of it. Indeed, "Brahim's" never fails! :)

The finished product

Since we've had quite heavy dishes, I decided to have a really refreshing & yet not so oily vegetable. Blanched Broccoli Florets with Garlic Crisps I should end off with.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Perfecting My Baking Skills

Am I boring u with my 'learning to bake' process? :P Hope not boy! :) 'Cuz more will be coming up.

I love butter. Anything buttery & cheesy, I would never be able to resist especially cakes.

Late afternoon today, baking mood came over me while I was sitting in front of my TV watching my TVB series. I stopped what I was doing, went to surf the net hoping to find easy & fuss-free baking recipes. Not in the mood for washing lots of stuffs, glad I managed to find one that suits my request & ingredients I have in my fridge.

Wanna say a big "Thank You" to Edith. Thanks for posting this recipe on ur blog. I had fun baking today. Hubby gave thumbs up for this Butter Cup Cake.

Of course, hiccups never fails to happen for a beginner like me. I was happily beating the butter till I saw some oil appearing. Oh gosh! I read from somewhere that if this happens, things ain't going to look good. Sigh! :( Never gave up tho' I felt like it. I stopped beating, quickly did the following steps (thank God at this stage my butter was quite fluffy already). My brain was telling me sure fail, my heart was saying don't assume failure yet as u've not begin the most important part.

Oke, so in the tin goes to the hot hot oven. I just love the smell and fragrance when the oven is starting to work while I rest. :) That's one of the "looking forward" encouragement that makes me wanna bake.

Here's my final product. Verdict? My beating of butter skills is better, and I baked it for a longer time so it would not be too moist in the inner part. The outer part is overbaked tho' I covered with an aluminium foil to prevent the top from burning but I'm glad I've improved & learned thru' this experience on how to beat the butter better.

Bottom View

Side View

Inside The Cake (Smoother ya?)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My 1st Encounter With Baking

Hoho! Made Lucy's Butter Cake tonight. Was in the mood for learning baking as hubby wouldn't be home for dinner. So I'm left with either being a couch potato for the whole day or keep myself busy despite I'm sick. So I chose the 2nd option.

Procrastinate in wanting to bake this butter cake for a long time. Firstly because I'm afraid of oven, was thinking it would explode or what so ever as I've never used oven in my entire life. 2ndly, I hate the word 'Failure' cuz after spending so much and fail, the feeling ain't good.

Today, I finally touched the oven, afterall, the experience was good! Oven does wonders I suddenly realise! Now, hubby and I can make our own pizza as that was what he wanted to do everytime! I'm so happy that my oven didn't explode or cause me trouble. haha..
Actually, I encounter quite a number of hiccups in making this cake. Thank God my pal Jo is online. haha! Online teaching neh! Then one hand on mixer, the other on laptop, typing questions.

1st hiccup: Beat the butter already! Happily, I wiped away the butter on the beater & started beating the egg whites. And so, I did that. Beat it for more than 15mins and wondering why in the world the egg whites are still watery? Asked my "teacher" (was in the super "gan jeong" mode liao), then realise should've washed the beaters, wiped dry then beat the whites. So cleared the entire bowl, and did it. Oke, after this, worse, realised I 4got to add in milk to the butter!! Haiyo! What a big sotong I am lei! Gotta mix in the milk & rebeat the butter, wash everything again and beat the egg whites. *Sobsob*

2nd hiccup: I thought after the above, everything was well. And so it seems. Then, after the egg white reaches its soft peaks, I happily fold in to the butter cream. It was during this time, that I turned my head to the left and saw what was beside the stove! IT WAS THE FLOUR, the most important thing in all the cakes and bakes!! HAIYO!! Decided to give it a shot instead of just giving up, smart me, after folding in egg white, I folded in the flour & baking powder together. AIYO! Then in the cake goes to the oven. This was THE moment that I kept my fingers cross that the cake would turn out well.

3rd hiccup: Cake done, left on wire rack to cool. Went to cut it. Realised that it's warm, no wonder when I cut, it breaks easily la! (*banging head*)

The long awaited moment has arrived. Should have baked it longer, could've avoided the dense texture inside. My 1st baking encounter turns out not too bad despite so many hiccups! And my whole house smells of butter frangrance now. Rooms for improvement, Grace, Gambate Ne! Practice makes perfect, more to come! Im hooked on baking already! :P

Thanks Lucy, for ur recipe!

Thanks Jo for helping me! :)

Butter Cake

Bottom view (Smooth ya?)

Inner part of the cake

The Power Of Salt

I must say "WOW!" The wonders and power of salt! Yesterday, after I rinsed my mouth with salt water many times, the little lump in the left area of my mouth started to tone down alittle. Then I slept, perspire quite abit, and this morning when I woke up, the lump is gone, fever has subsided, just that now my throat is hurting with problem swallowing, & as usual, my mouth couldn't open much (feels like jaw lock). :(

Hopefully I will be completely well by tonight. Wanna eat my you tiao for breakfast tomorrow. :P

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sick & Tired

Sigh, I'm sick & tired being sick. :(

Yesterday night, my left side of cheek started to swell alittle. The inner part of my mouth hurts, and this morning my beautiful mouth couldn't open. My whole body started to ache badly & body heat started to rise high. *sob sob*

After rinsing my mouth with salt water to get rid of the poison as recommended by my mama & Jo, my fever however subsided, pain in the mouth was slightly better yet the body aching remains. Now, I couldn't even talk properly, let alone eating. I knew I needed soft diets from this day onwards.

Our friends, Celest & Charles, were so nice to offer to bring me porridge & to the doctor, but I rejected their kind offer as my mouth was hurting, swallowing food & saliva makes it so much painful that one could not expect in just one afternoon. I lose my appetite, resulting me not eating the whole day until dinner time.

Thank u both, I appreciate both your thoughts!

Made Minced Pork Porridge with Oyster Sauce for dinner. Hubby had more than a big bowl while me only had one small bowl despite I was hungry as my stupid mouth was causing me so much pain. Today, I swallowed the porridge without chewing, am now hoping that the meat in my stomach will digest. :(

I wanna get well by this friday, cuz hubby promised to bring me to eat morning breakfast with you tiao!! WOW! The thought of it brings a smile to my face. And we'll be meeting both Celest & Charles for breakfast too! How fun! I enjoy going out with them! :)

Let's hope me will be well soon ya? :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Taste of Home

Bak Kut Teh a.k.a 肉 骨 茶! Who doesn't love this? This is 1 thing that has been always on my mind eversince I came here. Thank God, I brought along spices with me to make this.

Yesterday was 'Market Day' at spinneys. During this day which occurs on every mondays, a whole lot of really fresh foods & fruits would be imported in to the supermarket. I would say, more fresh than the rest of the days. And guess what, I hop in to the 'Pork Section for Non-muslims only' to look at their pork ribs. They look really fresh & fleshy with not-so-many fats around. Happily, I chose one packet & brought it to the butcher to slice them up for me.

Tonight was THE night for me to make BKT. And normally I wouldn't eat the meat as they were either too fatty or not fresh, but just for me to boil soup with it. Just now, I walloped up all the flesh & left the bones only in my bowl. I simply love the dipping sauce which is a mixture of dark soya sauce with fresh chilli slices. The soup should be peppery & make me perspire. This is what I call a fabulous Bak Kut Teh. A cup of chinese tea after that would be just perfect.


Here's my Stir Fry Fish with Ginger Slices & Spring Onions. I love this to bits too, usually would order this when I visit 'Zi Char' stall.

Afraid that hubby might not have enough to 'da bao' for tomorrow lunch, I made this Ku Chye with Chicken Slices since I still have had lots of chives left after making my gyoza.

Wonderful meal tonight. Indeed a taste of home, which I miss most. :)

Monday, September 11, 2006


Wanted to try something new tonight instead of chinese again and again. Think u all might be alittle bored with all my chee-na postings. :P

'Bavette are similar to Tagliatelle, in other words flat strips, but they contain no egg. They're delightful with creamy sauces like pesto or cream sauces.'

Hubby loves it with cream sauce, me would prefer it with tomato sauce. So both of us are totally different when it comes to Italian feast. :P

To be fair, I made it with neither of the above sauces. Instead, I stir fry them with butter, shitake mushrooms, diced white onions, chicken slices, luncheon meat & served with crunchy cucumber as sides.

Bavette Stir Fry

Bought Cambell's Mushroom Soup to go with it, hubby added to his plate of pasta & that truly satisfies the 'creamy' taste he always wanted. :)

I shall try my hands on making my own mushroom soup next time.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Azuki Beans Sweet Soup (紅豆湯)

We call this 'Red Beans' (紅豆) in Singapore. Over in Dubai, it's better known as 'Azuki Beans'.

Have been wanting to eat this, or rather cook this long time ago, but kept slipping away from my 'To Do List' & mind somehow. Made this finally to nourish our bodies since we've not eaten this for a long time.

I love the stall at "16 floor" a.k.a Commonwealth Market. The aunty has been selling her famous 'Tong Shuis' for more than a decade. After our dear government revamped the old into a new market, I thought the stall is no longer functioning as most hawkers does that due to rent increase. But when I went back in Feb this year, I was glad to know that the aunty still continues with her small business. How happy I was! Even hubby was happy. Boy! I miss her cheap & good tong shui. Wanna go back again when I'm back. Thank God, my mama's home is just a stone throw away from my favourite dessert stall. :)

Azuki Beans Sweet Soup (紅豆湯)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

No-Sweat Dinner

After having a fulfilled day of going to China Shoe City, watching movie & eating a dim sum lunch on our friday weekend with our new couple friend in Dubai, yesterday we stayed home almost the whole day to recuperate our energy to start a brand new week today.

Dinner is simple tonight. Initially I didn't want to cook as I was in PMS mood. But after being a couch potato for 2hrs, my mood did turn better and came up with these 2 no-sweat dishes.

I still had some coconut milk powder leftover, so decided to mix in with the chicken, simple & quick. Was not in the mood to create complicated meal.

Minced Chilli Chicken with Curry Powder

Stuffs U Need:
300gm minced chicken

1pc red chilli, deseed & diced
1 red onion, sliced
1tsp garlic, minced

1 & 1/2 tbsp meat curry powder
2tbsp coconut milk powder
20ml water

1) Heat oil in wok, add in garlic, onions & chilli pieces till fragrant.
2) Add in chicken, fry till almost done, then add in curry powder & coconut milk powder, stir fry till well coated.
3) Then add in water, simmer till water evaporated & serve hot.

Egg Doo Boo with Oyster Sauce

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Creations Called My Own

As U can guess from the title. Yes!, my own creations again.

I took out the chicken pieces from my fridge, and couldn't figure out what to do with it. These days, I seem to have lost touch of cooking even tho' I've been busy in my kitchen. Actually didn't want to deep fry things today, but what the hack, just do it, Grace! :P

Went searching, clearing my cupboard & realised that some powders have been left there untouched for quite some time. So decided to mix everything together, to form a dish, a yummy dish infact. Never thought that it would turn out really good.

Haven't been eating this for awhile. Bought a firm tofu last week, and decided to come out with new ways to cook it instead of the normal frying or boiling with soup.

Am happy that these 2 new creations of mine turned out pretty well, hubby gave full marks with a smiling face! :)

Here are my recipes, do try them and let me know how u feel.

Deep Fried Crispy Chicken

Stuffs U Need:
5pcs chicken breasts
50g plain flour
25g cornflour
3tbsp turmeric powder

2tbsp meat curry powder
a pinch of salt & ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
2tbsp sesame seeds
enough oil for deep frying

1) Sieve plain flour, cornflour, turmeric & curry powder, then add in salt, pepper & sesame seeds. Stir till everything is blended well.
2) Coat chicken with beaten egg, then with the seasoned flours.
3) Heat oil in pan, when hot, add in coated chicken pieces & deep fry till golden brown.

Get graphics at

Tofu with Sizzling Minced Pork

Stuffs U Need:
1pkt firm tofu
300gm minced pork
1 shallot, sliced
2cloves garlic, minced

Marinade for Pork (1hr):
1tsp soy sauce
a pinch of sugar, pepper
1tsp dark soya sauce
1tsp chinese 5 spice powder
1tsp sesame oil

Gravy Seasonings:
1tbsp oyster sauce

1 pinch of sugar

Cornflour Mixture:
2tsp cornflour, 1tsp water


1) Heat oil in wok, saute garlic & shallots till fragrant.
2) Add in pork, fry & break them up into pieces.
3) Add in gravy seasonings, thicken with corn flour mixture.
4) Pour over blanched tofu & serve hot.

For Tofu:
1) Boil a pot of water, enough to cover tofu.
2) When boiling, blanch tofu in the water for 5mins.
3) Dish out, set aside on plate.

Get graphics at

After much washing & cleaning, now I shall rest for the day. :)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Braised Fish Steaks

Braising is cooking with "moist heat", in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid which results in a particular flavour. Braising relies on heat, time & moisture to successfully break down tough connection tissue & collagens in meat. A successful braise intermingles the flavours of food being cooked and the cooking liquid.

So tonight, I made braised fish steaks using Jo's method, but used oyster sauce instead as I couldn't get abalone or mushroom sauce here. Thanks Jo! :)

鍋貼 a.k.a Gyoza/Potstickers

The Japanese word 'Gyōza' was derived from the reading of 餃子 (jiao zi) or 鍋貼 (guo tie) in mandarin. Gyōza originated in China, and it is said to have been introduced to Japan in late 17th century. There are many ways of preparing gyōza, deep fried, boiled, steamed or pan fried. The most popular preparation method is called yaki-gyōza where the dumpling is first fried on the lower flat side creating a delicious, crispy skin.

I made these today for dinner served as sides. Hubby loves this so much that everytime we visit a Japanese restaurant, we would order this. I love to dip this in black vinegar with ginger slices, it gives a sourish kick to the dish when tasted. What a great combination!

Here's mine 4 tonight... I shall add more seasonings for the meat filling in future. Me, a chives lover, mixed tons of it into the meat too.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Fancy Gems Biscuits

My childhood biscuits! We would call this "Tor Zai Pia" in hokkien dialect. I would frequent those old 'Mama Shop' to get these just to snack even till now. Don't know about u, but me would eat the candy, leaving the biscuits behind for my mum to eat. Hehe.. noti ya? :P

And thank God, 'Khong Guan' biscuit factory made these in convenient packets. Ooo, next trip back, I gotta remind myself to get these in bulk, cheaper & bigger packet too! Lurve these to bits! Even hubby who don't usually take biscuits, loves this! :)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Quality Time 2gather

I'm pretty happy today. Hubby took off today as he was away for a week plus last week. We had a happy time spent together though we didn't really go out shopping or watch movie as we decided earlier on. Instead, we went to Coffee Bean for lunch, then headed to Gloria Jeans Café to chit chat over a cuppa.

We don't have usually have such a time like this. I mean, guys don't usually talk alot after a hard day's work, whereas women talk more than men no matter how tired we are as studies has shown. So today, hubby opened up quite a few topics & told me about his adventurous business trip. I'm just not that kind of gal who wants hubby to bring me to big malls to shop or hop into a fine dining restaurant to dine just to feel that we've at least did something today during his off day, that kind of feeling.

I prefer to laze at a café, chit chat, knowing what & how he is feeling, thinking, things like these. Next month, hubby's supposed to leave for business trip to Iran, but he gave up the opportunity to go cuz it's gonna be a pretty long trip, partially also because of me, he's afraid that I would be bored in Dubai alone. Isn't that sweet? I think so! :)

Since we had lunch outside, and I've a packet of bee hoon (Rice Vermicelli) sitting in my cupboard for awhile, decided to fry it with minced pork just like how 炸醬麵's pork is cooked. Added some eggs & cabbage as sides to go with. Nice! Glad that we saved another Sg$30 tonight.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lousy Rendang Paste with Yummy Lettuce

Bought this packet of ready mixed rendang sauce afew weeks back. I tried it out today for lunch. It was weird, the recipe calls for 200ml of water, and I only added 50ml, turned out doesn't taste like rendang, but yet smells like it. Made this with my precious chicken, and I regretted buying this paste. Tried to look for the famous malaysian brand, "Brahim's" but they only have 3 other pastes except rendang. :(

I was disappointed. The rendang I made turned out too watery, thank God I didn't add in 200ml of water, else it would turned into soup. Phew! Never will I buy this brand of paste again.

Watery Chicken Rendang

Thank God my Lettuce with Prawns turned out well, else we would just have to eat coconut rice alone.

I never liked lettuce until I ate this at a chinese restaurant here, they steamed the vegetable, and saute the garlic with oyster sauce & pour it over the vege. Yum!

Seems like my stay in Dubai, makes me loves foods which I never liked when I was in Sg. :)

Friday, September 01, 2006

French Toasts Breakfast

First of all, Happy Teachers' Day to my mama & all teachers around the world! :)

Okie dokie, back to food. I love french toasts! Then again, who doesn't? :P They're so easily made, delicious especially with kaya as a dip. Oooo, I miss "Yakun" french toast set with kaya & a cup of milk tea. Thinking of it makes me hungry... :)

So today, in order to curb that craving which has been in me for quite sometime, I made french toast today since I still have some kaya left which I made few days back.

Instead of using normal white bread, I used milk bread to give it a sweeter sensation for taste.